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 30 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 2019 is 90% Chenin blanc and 10% Sémillon. The Chenin comes from our parcels in the Skurfberg, Piekenierskloof, Perdeberg, Bottelary, False Bay and Tygerberg. The Sémillon comes from the old La Colline block in Franschhoek.

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Cartology

Technical Details

Varieties:
90% Chenin Blanc, 10% Sémillon
Wine of origin Western Cape
Production 30 216 bottles
Bottling Jun 16 2020
Alcohol 13.36%
RS 2.0 g/litre
TA 5.8 g/litre
PH 3.36

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 12 months, then rested in tank on fine lees without fining for a further six months prior to bottling. Very simple, careful winemaking.

Tasting Notes

Weight and power are not the same thing. Here’s a wine with a moderate palate weight that has both intensity and power. The nose is wonderful: kumquat citrus, sweet oatmeal and honey, maybe elderflower. The palate is fine and bright, reminiscent of salty/sweet candied lemon, great length.

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