Mullineux Family Wines was established in 2007 by Chris and Andrea Mullineux. Within a short time the winery established itself as one of South Africa’s celebrated wine brands, both locally and internationally. In 2013 Analjit Singh joined forces with Chris and Andrea and the company was renamed Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines. In 2017 Chris & Andrea were Tim Atkin’s South African Winemakers of the Year.
Chris and Andrea identified a group of vineyards in interesting parts of the Swartland region which are mostly located around the shale- and schist-based Riebeek Kasteel mountains and the granite-based Paardeberg mountain. Vineyards are planted with grapes varieties which are mostly Mediterranean in origin and ideally suited to the environment. The Swartland is also perfectly suited to natural methods of farming with very low summer rainfall and evening breezes off the Atlantic Ocean. Vineyards are often planted amongst the natual Renosterveld and fynbos which provide refuge for predators of vineyard pests and help reduce the spread of disease. Weeds struggle to establish themselves and spread, making it easier to control them without the need for herbicides.
The Swartland Rouge is a Mediterranean-style red blend based on Syrah (44%) with other Rhône varieties: 44% Tinta Barocca, 7% Grenache, 4% Cinsault, and 1% Carignan. Grapes were hand-harvested between the 2nd and 27th February 2018 and then chilled. They were destemmed to tank and around 25% whole bunches were added. Minimal sulphur dioxide was added and, as with all Mullineux wines, no other additions were made. The must was initially pigeaged once a day. After about four days, fermentation began with indigenous yeasts, and the wine was pigeaged once or twice a day. Temperatures were not allowed to exceed 28°C. Total maceration was between four and six weeks. The wine was then drained and pressed to barrel for malolactic fermentation. The different parcels were racked in Spring to blend the wine, which was then returned to barrel. Maturation took place for 11 months in third and fourth fill French oak 225 litre barrels and 500 litre demi-muids.