Alheit Vineyards


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 Semilllon. 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


s a rule, the Cartology parcels are dry farmed bushvines, with a minimum age of 35 years, although most are between 40 and 50 years old. Average yields for these parcels is around 3 tons/Ha or around 20hl/Ha.

Cartology 2023 is 94% Chenin blanc and 6% Semillon. The Chenin comes from our parcels in the Skurfberg, Piekenierskloof, Malmesbury, Paardeberg, Bottelary, False Bay and Tygerberg. The Semillon comes from the old La Colline block in Franschhoek.

learn more about the vineyards

Technical Details

94% Chenin Blanc, 6% Sémillon
Wine of origin Western Cape
Production 27405 bottles and 240 magnums
Bottling May 15 2024
Alcohol 13.11%
RS 2.0g/l
TA 5.67g/l
PH 3.36

Cartology means the study of maps or charts. It could not be a 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 were hand sorted and whole bunch pressed. The juice was very lightly settled (we like very cloudy raw juice) with no additions to the raw juice, wild fermentation took place in cements eggs, old foudres, and old barrels (various sizes). Fermentation of various parcels lasted anywhere between 3 weeks and 11 months. The wine was kept on lees for around 12 months, then rested in tank on fine lees without fining for a further five months prior to bottling. Very simple, careful winemaking.

Tasting Notes

This wine makes me smile. There are times as a winemaker when you wonder to yourself if you still have the conviction and the passion you once did. This wine puts a reassuring hand on my shoulder and answers the secret internal question. Passion is great, experience with is greater. Conviction grows into perseverance. Keep going man, keep going.

The nose is bloody great and so is the palate. End of note. More specifically, expect ripe pear, citrus rind, and some sweet herbal notes on the nose. The palate is energetic, just about perfectly weighted somewhere between richness and crystalline refreshment. The finish is long and moreish.

download the full 2023 vintage fact sheet