Region: Ceres Plateau
High on the Witzenberg Mountain range in Ceres, at an altitude of 960 meters above sea level, this unique ‘appellation’ exhibits South Africa’s only truly continental climate with winter temperatures frequently dropping below freezing. The cooler night-time temperatures and hotter daytime temperatures during the growing season results in slower ripening and more concentrated fruit. Ceres fruit displays surprising cooler climate characteristics in comparison to other regions of the Western Cape.
Well-drained, soft, yellow shale soils. In winter, the vineyard soil is often covered with a layer of snow which provides the perfect conditions for dormancy of the vines, a much-needed resting and recovery period before the growth season starts.
Handpicked at the break of dawn, carefully selected grapes are destemmed, crushed and lightly pressed at De Grendel with a recovery of only 650 litres per ton.
After two days of settling, the juice is inoculated and transferred to 225 litre French Oak barrels for fermen-tation of which 1/3 is new, 1/3 is second fill and 1/3 is third fill. The wine is barrel aged ‘sur lie’ for 6 months whilst undergoing ‘bâtonnage’. Bâtonnage is the method of stirring up the lees and takes place twice a week before malolactic fermentation and once a month after malolactic fermentation to enhance the mouth feel and structure of the wine.