The single, old vineyard that produces the grapes for this distinctive wine grows in the crunchy, decomposed granite soil of the Polkadraai area in Stellenbosch. Although the actual age of the vines is unknown, one look at their gnarled structure will confirm their veteran status. The sprawling growth pattern is supported by only one foliage wire and so the bunches ripen in relatively shady conditions. This enhances the fresh citrus expression of the wine while retaining a bracing acidity.
As with all of our wines, the grapes are harvested by hand and then hand sorted, to ensure only the purest, healthiest fruit is used. The grapes are then de-stemmed and crushed, but instead of immediate pressing and separation of the juice from the skins the juice is left to macerate on the skins for a few hours. This builds some texture and palate weight in the wine and imparts an interesting pithy note. Just before alcoholic fermentation kicks off, the wine is pressed and transferred to stainless steel vats for spontaneous natural fermentation. The wine is bottled without fining or filtration to preserve every nuance of its varietal and terroir expression.
Thirst Clairette Blanche is an intriguing example of this quirky variety. It offers exceptional refreshment and drinkability, as well as an interesting and complex collection of aromas and flavours. Driven by its fresh citrus zest, the wine shows great focus. Generous lime and lemon flavours delight the palate and a mineral pithiness is displayed , before a long and tapering, saline finish.