Alheit Vineyards

Cartology

Cartology is a vinous exploration of Cape heritage. It’s intended to be a picture of the Cape seen through the lens of her old vineyards in a given vintage. The cuveé is composed of rare and extraordinary parcels of mature dryland bushvines, of heritage grapes, namely Chenin Blanc and Sémillon. These grapes have been planted in the Cape for centuries. Cartology has become our staple offering. It serves as a poster child for our project, and also seems to have become a flag bearer for Cape heritage wine in general.

The Story Behind Cartology

Vineyards

As a rule, the Cartology parcels are dry farmed bushvines, with a minimum age of thirty years, although most are between forty and fifty years old. Average yields for these parcels is around 3 tons/Ha or around 20hl/Ha.

Cartology 2020 is 93% Chenin blanc and 7% Sémillon. The Chenin comes from our parcels in the Skurfberg, Perdeberg, Upper Blaauwklippen, False Bay and Tygerberg. The Sémillon comes from the old La Colline block in Franschhoek.

learn more about the vineyards
Cartology

Technical Details

Varieties:
93% Chenin Blanc, 7% Sémillon
Wine of origin Western Cape
Production 23 331 bottles
Bottling Jun 25 2021
Alcohol 13.29%
RS 2.80 g/litre
TA 5.70 g/litre
PH 3.32

Cartology means the study of maps or charts. It could not be more perfect name for this wine. Not only because of our endeavours to search for and find these special old vineyards, but also because the wine itself can be seen as a vinous map or tapestry of the Cape.

Winemaking and Maturation

The grapes are hand sorted and whole bunch pressed. The juice is very lightly settled (we like very cloudy raw juice) with no additions to the raw juice, wild fermentation in either cements eggs, clay pots, foudres, or old barrels (various sizes). Fermentation can last anywhere between 3 weeks and 11 months. The wine is kept on lees for around twelve months, then rested in tank on fine lees without fining for a further six months prior to bottling. Very simple, careful winemaking.

Tasting Notes

This is the tenth bottling of Cartology, making it a rather special milestone for us. I personally put a great deal of thought into the assembly of this wine, wanting to bottle something beautiful to celebrate the tenth vintage.

The wine looks alive and bright, pale gold in colour. Citrus rind and pear ring clear on the nose…there’s a faint herbal/stony echo and some soft cardamon-like spcie here too. The palate is sappy and layered, fine and dry with lovely cleansing acidity. Long finish. I’d say more, but I think the wine will speak for itself.

download the full 2020 vintage fact sheet