Shannon Vineyards is situated in the Elgin Valley within the Kogelberg Biosphere with mountains on its western boundary and the Peninsula dam forming the eastern boundary. The Elgin Valley has long been regarded as the apple and pear centre of South Africa but is now home to some of the country’s most highly regarded winemakers and their vineyards.
Owners and brothers James and Stuart Downes focus on nurturing the vines and do not make wine on the property. The name Shannon pays homage to their Irish ancestry. Their Shannon and Downes forefathers were from County Cork. On the other side, the James family were wine merchants and former owners of the White Horse Pub in Parsons Green, London. James is responsible for the vineyard management, and Stuart focuses on the marketing.
The vines grow on south-east and east facing slopes in heavy “na-bank” (Afrikaans) clays and iron enriched Bokkeveld shales to silica quartz encrusted Table Mountain Sandstones. The Pinot Noir bunches are chilled to 3°C before being sorted on a conveyor and de-stemmed. Berries undergo cold maceration for three to six days 8°C. 80% of the fruit is naturally fermented. Maturation takes place for approximately twelve months in oak barriques.