Charles Back was a pioneer in the Swartland when he started Spice Route...
in 1998. “Without [Charles]…the Swartland would still be regarded as a rural backwater” wrote Tim Atkin. Today, the region is the source of many of South Africa’s outstanding wines, yet Spice Route remains one of the best and most credible producers in the region, due largely to the fact that they own their own vineyards. Spice Route’s 100 hectares of vineyards are situated in Malmesbury and Darling. The former, all bush trained on Malmesbury shale and red clay subsoils (the clay ensures the vineyards are dry grown), give the Grenache and Mourvèdre the intensity of fruit that makes this region so exciting. Winemaker Charl du Plessis has been with Charles for 15 years, and knows the region intricately. The winemaking is ‘hands off’, as Charl is keen to capture the flavours and structure of the outstanding fruit he has grown.
This unique bushvine vineyard of Sauvignon Blanc was planted in 1965 and it is the oldest existing block of the variety in South Africa. Farmed without irrigation, only in exceptionally clement vintages does this vineyard transcend the Swartland.
The dry conditions throughout harvest ensure there was very little disease pressure. These dry conditions also led to drought, resulting in a smaller-than-usual crop, but this meant greater concentration and flavour in the grapes.
The single vineyard was hand-harvested over two days. The bunches were gently destalked and the juice was pressed off and set down for 48 hours prior to fermentation. Cold fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks.
On the nose there are tropical and grapefruit notes with a lime character, typical of the Darling region. The palate is bursting with intense citrus flavours, this wine is a feat for such a variety in the hot Swartland climate.
|Grape varieties||100% Sauvignon Blanc|
|Region||Swartland, Coastal Region|
|Winemaker||Charl du Plessis|
Liberty Wines customers can order this wine directly from us.