To pay homage to the benefits of growing grapes along the coast, Spier Wine Farm has a new wine range titled Seaward which comprises a lightly-wooded Chardonnay and a layered, spicy Shiraz.
Spier has spent the last two years developing a unique duo of wines that pay homage to the benefits of growing grapes along the coast. The aptly titled Seaward range is comprised of a sophisticated, lightly-wooded Chardonnay and a layered, spicy Shiraz.
The Cape is one of the few wine growing regions in the world where two different ocean currents converge. Moreover, its coastal vineyards are distinct from those located inland, because the surrounding mountain ranges act as a natural barrier to those very cooling sea breezes that give ocean-facing grapes their unique character – a character that reflects resolutely in Spier’s new range.
Coastal vineyard superiority
"These vines grow in some of the oldest soils in the world, comprising decomposed granite and weathered shale. The water retention is excellent due to their high clay content, which enables us to farm these drylands (without irrigation), giving them an intensity of flavour," says Frans Smit, cellar master.
At the height of summer, the confluence of the cooling ocean breezes and cooler soils allows the vines to thrive in optimal conditions for gradual ripening. The vines grow relatively disease-free, and minimal intervention is needed to produce a crop of outstanding quality flavour intensity, year after year. Because ocean-facing grapes have thicker skins and are generally smaller in size than their inland counterparts, they tend to yield less fruit.
"There is a purity of fruit in these wines, with great concentration, balance and finesse," Smit says. "The common thread is a saline minerality, given the proximity to the ocean. We’re really excited about sharing the fruits of our labour with wine lovers."