Terroir: Stellenbosch is recognized as the Cape’s premium red wine producing district. The significant maritime influence in the Helderberg region of Stellenbosch delivers exceptional fruit quality. The matching of grape varieties to specific sites was carefully considered at Anwilka. Their perfect terroir produces low yielding healthy vines and grapes. The gentle slopes assist water drainage during the winter rains, retaining the soils moisture throughout the growing season.
Anwilka is currently planted to 39 hectares of vineyards, predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. To add extra dimension and improve our blending components, the decision was made to plant Malbec and Petit Verdot a few years ago.
After 20 years of farming at Anwilka we have gained a careful understanding of the vineyards – helping us to best prepare the land, determine the layout of the blocks, select the best varieties, clones and rootstocks for this unique site.
The soil itself is well drained with a clay sub soil. A distinguishing factor of our soil is that it comprises of predominantly ‘Koffieklip’ (Ferricrete or Coffee Stone – course pebbles and bigger stones high in iron content).
Vinification: The cellar at Anwilka was refurbished in late 2014 to a state-of-the-art cellar, catering for the production optimum estate red wine. As a result, we are able to implement a micro site vinification technique. Each block is broken down into sections according to soil type, vigour and fruit quality. They are processed separately and vinified in small batches. This process allows us to respect the fruit whilst giving us the opportunity to add complexity during our blending process.
Gradual ripening allows for optimum flavour development, and balance between tannin and sugar levels which provide the desired mouth feel.
In order to make premium quality wine, we improved and optimized our pickings in the vineyard year on year. A strict selection of the best grapes in the vineyard ensures that the winemaking process is less invasive, going through the vineyards up to 4 times. The grapes are hand picked early in the morning, just before sunrise when the grapes are at their coldest. Upon arrival in the cellar the second sorting process starts immediately to preserve the flavours and freshness of the grapes. In the cellar, the extraction process is carefully calculated. After completion of alcoholic fermentation, the free run juice was drained off overnight and the skins pressed the next day using a delicate basket press. Press fractions are kept separate and used, from time to time, for fine tuning during the blending process. Secondary malolactic fermentation took place in either new French oak (selected selected from the best coopers Hubert de Bouard is familiar with) or in tank followed by 19 months in a combination of 50% first fill to 50% second fill 400L French Oak barrels.
2017 will be remembered as one of the all-time great vintages for red wine in Stellenbosch – a warm summer followed by a cooler maturation period allowed for optimal grapes with intense flavour. It was a vintage that was made entirely in the vineyards, allowing the winemakers to guide and preserve the essence of what the vines had to offer.
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