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.
This wine is a blend of 74% Chenin Blanc, 8% Clairette Blanche, 6% Grenache Blanc, 7% Viognier, 2% Semillon Gris, 2% Viura, 1% Verdelho from seven sustainably-farmed vineyard parcels in different parts of the Swartland: one parcel of 41 year-old Chenin and a parcel of 11 year old Grenache Blanc on the stony Schist based soils of the Kasteelberg; two parcels of 40-65 year-old dry land bush vine Chenin, one parcel of 44 year old Clairette Blanche and a 60 year old heritage Semillon Gris vineyard grown on the decomposed Granite of the Paardeberg; and a parcel of 21 year-old Viognier on the iron-rich soils of the rolling hills west of Malmesbury.
As each parcel was harvested the grapes were chilled. The grapes were then pressed whole-bunch and the juice is allowed to settle overnight. Minimal sulphur dioxide was added and, as with all Mullineux wines, no other additions were made. The juice was then racked to barrel for fermentation. Fermentation was with indigenous yeasts and lasted up to eight weeks. The wine was left without additional sulphur on its lees until spring. During this time the wine finished malolactic fermentation. The barrels were racked and blended just before the following vintage and bottled unfiltered. It was matured for nine months in third and fourth fill French oak 500 litre barrels and one new 2000 litre Foudre.