Lock, stock and wine barrel: De Wetshof Limestone Hill

Picture: iStock

The wine has notes of grapefruit and nuts, and is balanced by a nuanced elegance and delicate ripeness.

Chardonnay is exciting. It’s lively and fruity and one could say it’s almost the perfect white wine because almost everyone likes it.

When it’s unwooded, its even more popular.

The new De Wetshof Limestone Hill, one of South Africa’s most popular unwooded Chardonnays, emphasises that 2019 has been the best year for vintages since 2015.  It’s one of the best white wine vintages in the Cape’s recent history.

Johann de Wet, CEO of De Wetshof Estate in Robertson, says last year’s relatively wet winter put some much-needed moisture back into the soils, which helped create this standout wine.

“These conditions allowed the grapes to ripen evenly and build ideal acid-to-sugar ratios resulting in perfect chemistry in the young wines. This year’s Chardonnay harvest shows young wines of freshness, varietal character and complexity,” says De Wet.

Despite the wet Cape winter in 2018, the Cape is still experiencing a drought due to the previous five years’ low rainfall.

“Fortunately the high clay content of De Wetshof’s soils helped massively in sustaining the vines due to clay’s water-retention ability. Once the water got down deep to where most of the roots are, the soils remained moist and cool.

“Leading up to the 2019 harvest, this soil moisture allowed the plant to go through the processes of bud-break, berry-set, veraison and overall ripening in conditions conducive to a healthy crop,” adds De Wet.

The grapes for Limestone Hill are picked in cool mornings to capture its natural complexities.

The limestone in the heavy clay soils allows Limestone Hill optimum varietal expression. It has notes of grapefruit and nuts, and is balanced by a nuanced elegance and a delicate ripeness.

This is a wine for all seasons and sells for R95.

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