Celebrated winemaker Bruwer Raats and his cousin Gavin Bruwer Slabbert are shaking up the local wine industry with the launch of the B Vintners Vine Exploration Co. The newly released portfolio consists of a range of sublime heritage wines and unique terroir specific wines.
The passionate winemaking duo has been exploring the Stellenbosch region for vines that embrace the heritage of the Cape of Good Hope. Heritage varieties are not the only focus, but small vineyard parcels that showcase their terroir are important to their future vision. According to Slabbert, their company has been established on the building blocks of vine, terroir, heritage and future. “I have spent my forming years in Stellenbosch and this area with its distinctive terroir needs to be celebrated. We want to combine our heritage with a dynamic and innovative winemaking philosophy, to produce wines of excellence.”
Their exploration has resulted in a portfolio of wines that are greatly expressive. The heritage wines include a bone-dry Muscat d’ Alexandrie, named de Alexandria, a beautifully balanced white blend, Haarlem to Hope and an elegantly and understated Pinotage called Liberte. Staying true to their name, the vine explorers also give life to terroir specific wines in the form of a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The de Alexandria pays homage to the origin of its grape variety, Alexandria in ancient Egypt. The cuttings found their way via the trade routes to the southern tip of the African continent. B Vintners discovered the small 0.7 hectare parcel located in the Helderberg Mountain and has created a wine of purity and refinement. It boasts an incredibly delicate nose of rose petals, orange blossom and litchi fruit.
The Haarlem to Hope is described as a heritage blend featuring Raats’ beloved Chenin Blanc, Semillon, a variety which made up 90% of grape plantings in the Cape during the 19th century and a touch of Muscat d” Alexandrie. The wine takes its name from the original trade route, connecting the Dutch port of Haarlem to the Cape of Good Hope. The early settlers first planted these vines in the 17th century.
The Liberte Pinotage is more refined in style than most wines made from this indigenous varietal. The wine resonates of its 1920’s base varietals, Pinot Noir and Cinsaut, the first delivering an unequivocal elegance, while the latter backs up with complex spiciness.
The Strandwolf Chardonnay has been created using fruit from a site near Macassar on the False Bay coast and named after the free-roaming brown hyenas, which used to frequent the area. Expressive of its fruit flavours, the wine simultaneously shows vibrant tension and remarkable restraint with an intricate structure.
The Reservoir Road Pinot Noir originates from a low-yielding, wind-blown parcel of bush vine Pinot Noir from Faure. The wine delivers genuine structure with great tannins and unapologetically displays pure and concentrated Pinot characteristics with lush blackberry fruit providing a fresh vibrancy.
According to Bruwer Raats, their wines tell a story about the South African winemaking history using Stellenbosch as the canvas. “We have combined youth and experience to find something really special. Our journey has been based on a fundamental and shared passion in finding unique vineyards and special terroir. This new company allows us to explore what Stellenbosch offers and to create something truly unique.”
For more information, visit www.bvintners.com