About the wine
Vines on partially weathered shale as well as red/ yellow clay-loam soils. Grapes pressed whole-bunch. Only 1st light pressings used. Juice settled at 5°C for 48 hrs, then racked. 25% portion undergoes wild fermentation with balance inoculated with cultured yeast in 1/3 each of 1st, 2nd and 3rd fill 500L Allier French oak barrels. Fermentation continues for 21 days avg at temperatures ranging between 13°C and 18°C. Aged on fine lees with malolactic fermentation prevented to preserve finer flavours. Barrel maturation 11 mths, bottled with a fine sheet filtration.
This wine is the ideal accompaniment to foods with subtle spicy aromas and flavours. Although it spent 11 months in oak we strive to produce a wine that is still lively and fresh with varied and delicate flavours, showcasing the subtleties and finesse that Viognier is capable of.
About the producer
Nestled at the foot of the mountain after which it is named, Saronsberg is a contemporary addition to the rich heritage of Tulbagh Valley, comprising 40 hectares of vines: two-thirds red, one-third white. Created by Nick van Huyssteen in 2002, Saronsberg is managed by winemaker Dewaldt Heyns and it is clear to see his love of Rhône winemaking styles in the two Shiraz-dominated wines under the ‘Artspace’ label, which are cracking value for the price. Dewaldt has worked in Sonoma, USA, and also in France, which he says broadened his horizons (he is a member of the prestigious Cape Wine Guild). This proved to be a winning combination, with Saronsberg performing constantly at the highest level, receiving numerous awards since its maiden vintage.
The Tulbagh region lies between three mountain ranges: the Witzenberg, the Obiqua and the Winterhoek. The only route that lies open is towards the sea, across the Breede Valley situated 80km off the Atlantic coast, with a continental climate of Mediterranean summers and cold, wet winters. Soils can be broadly classified into 3 categories depending on their location: 1) Red/ yellow clay loam with some fine gravel on the slopes of the Saronsberg Mountain; 2) Deposited boulder beds and sandy-loam alluvial soils surrounding the Klein Berg River and 3) Mid-valley shales towards the centre of the Tulbagh Valley. The bulk of the vineyards are planted in the mid-valley medium deep soils that have developed from Malmesbury shale. The aspect is roughly east, with an average height of 160-185m. The rainfall is 450-550mm per year (June to September). The general wind direction is southeasterly, providing a cooling effect in the afternoons.
All wines grapes are handpicked in the early morning, then cooled to 4°C. A majority of the wines are Bunch sorted, destemmed & berry sorted on vibration tables (unless stated otherwise).