Perhaps become the most highly-prized wine from SA. Old vine Chenin, sourced from 10 sites around the Cape, with 10% Semillon from a single old block at the back-end of Franschhoek. Complex, balanced, textured and long.
Cartology (meaning the study of maps) is a vinous exploration of Cape heritage. It’s intended to be a picture of the Cape, seen through the lens of her mature vineyards, in a given vintage. Therefore, the cuveé is composed of rare and extraordinary parcels of mature dryland bushvines. Naturally, the varieties used are also heritage varieties, namely Chenin blanc and Semillon. They have been planted in the Cape for centuries.
It is rare for a new producer to achieve cult status almost immediately, but Chris and Suzaan Alheit’s first (2011) vintage of Cartology brought them unexpected fame; this is now one of the most tightly allocated South African names on the market.
The aim of the winery is to “vinify extraordinary Cape vineyards (sic)... to find the voice of the land itself. Whether that voice be a choir of amazing blocks blended into one bottle, or the purity and beauty of a single vineyard soloist.” Using the knowledge and contacts of leading viticulturist, Rosa Kruger, the couple sought out some of the oldest vineyard blocks in the country. Chenin Blanc accounts for 88 percent of the total blend and comes from four separate sites around the Western Cape:
Skurfberg – sourced from three separate farms
Perdeberg – Uitsig farm
Bottelary Hills – Radio Lazarus
Kasteelberg – Riebeeck Mountain planted on schist soils
Some 12% of the finished wine comprises very old vine Semillon from La Colline on the Robertsvlei Road in Franschhoek.
The winery itself is a rented shed, originally conceived as an olive oil production facility, on the Hemel-en-Aarde road out of Hermanus, a far cry from their vineyard sources on the western coast.