Alheit Vineyards

Hemelrand Vine Garden

Hemelrand Vine Garden is a unique vineyard that produces a unique wine. The idea is to bottle the wine just as the vineyard produces it, effectively creating a white field blend that changes every year depending on the vintage conditions. This way we have one place expressed by a few different grapes, changing as the season dictates. The wine is always remarkable and continues to gain in stature as the vines mature.

The Story Behind Hemelrand Vine Garden


Hemelrand it is situated on the cold and windy Hemel & Aarde Ridge at 360 meters above sea level, on gravelly clay, and Sandstone. The vineyard was planted in 2010 to Chardonnay, Roussanne, Verdelho, Chenin blanc, and Muscat Blanc a petit grain. However, as mentioned the proportions of the different grapes produced significantly varies each vintage. Viticulturally speaking this is a marginal site, the upside of which is slow ripening with high natural acidity.

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Hemelrand Vine Garden

Technical Details

36% Chardonnay, 28% Roussanne, 18% Chenin, 17% Verdelho, 1% Muscat
Wine of origin Hemel & Aarde Ridge (Estate Wine)
Bottling May 15 2024
Alcohol 13.54%
RS 2.7g/l
TA 5.80g/l
PH 3.39

Vine Garden aptly describes both the attention to detail in small scale viticulture on Hemelrand as well as the handful of grape varieties represented in the vineyard.

Winemaking and Maturation

The grapes were picked early in the morning, sorting in the vineyard, 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 old barrels of various sizes. Fermentation lasted for about two months. The wine was 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

We had lovely moderate temperatures during the ripening season, punctuated by regular rain. The Chenin blanc in particular starting developing beautiful dry noble rot(botrytis) several days before picking. We always have some noble rot in Hemelrand, but the amount and the quality thereof in 2023 separates this vintage from all previous.

The nose shows the classic stone fruit and exotic flavours that we expect from Vine Garden, but then there’s dried orange peel and apricot from the noble berries. The palate is full and quite powerful. The usual high acidity carries the whole wine to a long, tapered finish.

download the full 2023 vintage fact sheet