Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc 2019
Ranked the best winery in Africa and 14th in the world (World’s Best Vineyards 2020) Delaire Graff Estate is the epitome of luxury situated in Stellenbosch in the heart of South Africa’s most historic and prestigious wine region. Founded by Simon van der Stel in 1679, Simon brought a sound knowledge of viticulture, the art of wine making – fostering a tradition that has grown from strength to strength through the centuries. In 1982 John Platter, well known wine writer, bought Delaire, then known as Avontuur. Looking at the magnificent view, he decided to rename the farm Delaire Estate, meaning “From the Sky”. Laurence Graff, Chairman of Graff Diamonds International acquired the estate in 2003 and vowed to transform it into South Africa’s most desirable art, hospitality and wine destination.
Winemaker, Morné Vrey, aims for red wines that are big in structure with soft tannins and elegance, and white wines which capture the freshness of the harvest. Delaire, known for its high altitude vineyards, excellent soils and cooling sea breezes, is situated on the crest of the panoramic Helshoogte Mountain Pass, overlooking the Banhoek Valley. The 44 hectare vineyard is framed by the mighty Simonsberg and Groot Drakenstein Mountains. With its rugged mountain slopes, Delaire experiences variances in altitude which range from approximately 300 to 500 m above sea level. This creates microclimates conducive to making multi-layered, complex wines.
Literally meaning "the black land," Swartland takes its name from the endangered, indigenous "renosterbos" (translating to rhino bush), which used to be plentiful enough to turn the entire landscape a dark color certain during times of year. The district, attracting some of the most adventurous and least interventionist winemakers, excels in robust and full-bodied reds as well as quality fortified wines.
Unquestionably one of the most diverse grape varieties, Chenin Blanc can do it all. It shines in every style from bone dry to unctuously sweet, oaked or unoaked, still or sparkling and even as the base for fortified wines and spirits. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Somm Secret—Landing in South Africa in the mid 1800s, today the country has double the acreage of Chenin Blanc planted compared to France. There is also a new wave of dedicated producers committed to restoring old Chenin vines.