Succulent violet rose petals and ripe summer strawberries envelop the nose in this silky, generous Pinot from the Hemel en Aarde Valley. A site planted on Bokkeveld shale and clay at 125m elevation, Hannes employs the more feminine 115 Pinot clone to compensate for the low yielding, heavier soils. In his words he says that “from a new world perspective we want to maintain freshness. The timing of the harvest is very important as this is a warm, north facing slope. We use 20% whole bunch in a dry vintage but aim for 15% to maintain the real terroir expression”. Soft, spicy, and incredibly seductive Pinot Noir, Vrede is a mere 1.5km from the ocean and benefits from prevailing winds that maintain a sense of freshness and salinity in the ripe red fruit and spicy profile of the wine. Aged in 25% new oak for 11 months and 15 months in bottle prior to release.
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.