Varietal: 44% Roussanne, 38% Chenin Blanc, 10% Verdelho, 8% Viognier
Rootstock: Richter 110
Fruit source: from our own Oude Nektar farm in Jonkershoek Valley
Yield: 7.0 tons/hectare
Total production: 3266 bottles
˚B at harvest: 21.5-22˚
Alcohol: 13. 5%
Total Acid: 6.0
Residual sugar: 2.9g/l
Age of vines: 8 years
Trellis: 5-wire vsp
Irrigation: drip irrigation
Vineyard elevation: 200m
Details of vinification and oaking:
This is our only “estate” white wine. We have one block on the farm — the bottom vineyard, just as you drive into our gate — that is quite different than all the other blocks. Because it sits at a bottom of a steep slope as well as being very close to the river, it has a number of different geological influences: there are 11 different soil types in this 2-hectare block! Faced with this difficult situation, we tried to turn it into a positive and decided to plant a mix of varieties that could be picked together to make up one wine. All the grapes are picked on the same day, pressed together and fermented together — hence the name, The Field Blend. The wine was 100% barrel fermented in neutral oak – just a small percent (±5%) of new oak was used – and aged for 8 months with regular lees stirring.
This vintage marks a slight break in style compared to previous vintages. I took a step back, fermenting all of the wine in barrel, but using mostly neutral oak. We handled it as carefully and as naturally as possible, giving the wine only a light fining and bottling with minimal filtration. This is our fourth vintage of this wine and it is interesting to see the consistency of the vineyard. Stylistically, I have always been looking for a balance between the richness and perfume of the roussanne and viognier and the fruit and freshness of the chenin and verdelho.
We recently came across some interesting historical research on the Jonkershoek Valley and on this site in particular. The historical name is Jan Lui’s Field, named an early owner of the farm. This site was originally used by the khoi-san for grazing livestock and it is believed to be one of the oldest cultivated fields in Stellenbosch. Grapes have been grown on this site for more than 350 years.