A 0.8Ha plot. Basket pressed after a native ferment into a total of just three barriques, rather than the usual twelve, one of which was new. Despite the tiny crop, the Vrede 2019 is a Chardonnay chock full of character, offering up notes of lime and ginger, citrus and floral, heady fruit, reminiscent of a very high quality Pfalz or Rheinhessen Riesling. A core of bright, zesty acidity makes it incredibly moreish. This is new world sunshine delivered with a bit of zing, or as Hannes says, “a big wine in a small package!”. Just 890bts were produced and as such availability is very limited.
Based in the cool Hemel-en-Aarde valley, Hannes Storm and his team craft finely tuned, site-specific wines from each of the sub-regions of the valley. Vrede is a stony, shale and clay based vineyard in the lower part of the valley, abutting the vineyards of Hamilton Russell, where Hannes was head winemaker for twelve years. Ignis is located in the upper valley and planted to decomposed granite, while Ridge is at the highest elevation, in the aptly named Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, where the soils are similar to Vrede in being low-vigour clay and shale.
A respected viticulturist, Hannes has planted and consulted on many of the top sites in the valley over the years and saw his breakaway as an opportunity to develop his own Burgundian-inspired wines in a more natural, hands-off way. As such, he is proud to work with only estate grown fruit, which he ferments naturally in small batches with no additions, before aging in top quality French barrique with a maximum of 25-30% new oak across the range.