Elegant and versatile, a glass of Haute Cabrière Chardonnay can come in many forms.
Each year, we celebrate International Chardonnay day, falling on the 4th Thursday in May. This year, on 27 May we raise a glass to the beautiful profile of this enigmatic wine varietal.
It’s no secret that the von Arnim family of Haute Cabrière, in the Franschhoek winey valley, adore Chardonnay and always have. The seed was planted when Achim von Arnim was working in the vineyards of France and Germany and it has become a lifelong passion of the von Arnims to celebrate and honour this noble grape, vintage after vintage.
As a wine varietal, Chardonnay hails from Burgundy, a western region of France, as far back as the 12th century. There are numerous arguments claiming exact origin, and we can understand the envy! But let’s not get bogged down in the details and fast-forward to the 1980’s where global popularity and interest soared…
Over the past few decades, Chardonnay has expanded far beyond the borders of Burgundy and become a globally grown varietal. It is Chardonnay’s ability to reflect terroir that makes it so popular, each one interesting and surprising with nuances making it identifiable to regions and climates around the globe.
When it comes to style, it’s not so much a door that opens for Chardonnay as a floodgate … Chardonnay is as versatile as they come and used as still single varietal wine, oaked wine, in blends as well as for Cap Classiques, fortified wines, noble late harvests and even for brandy.
At Haute Cabrière, our ranges explore this versatility of Chardonnay in a variety of different techniques.
Ripe and zesty, this wine does not reflect the stereotype of heavy and oaked Chardonnay. We find this wine to be perfect for most occasions, and dare we say, Sauvignon Blanc die-hards may find a new wine to enjoy!
This Cap Classique is an ode to the gift of time. This wine spends at least 5 years on the lees to create complexity, structure and the finest mousse in the glass. Our 2016 vintage has just been released!
Created from an old vineyard planted in 1983, aging and oak are introduced for a heavier, silkier wine with hints of butterscotch and almonds taking over the lighter & fruiter notes with more body and complex layers.
Amphorae (clay vessels) were used to age this wine. These vessels act as a traditional barrel but don’t add any flavours in the maturing of the wine. Only 650 bottles were released and each an expression of terroir.
Originating in France, this sweet wine was traditionally use to ratify treaties, the sugar added to stop fermentation meant the fruit flavours stayed fresh for years. This wine in itself offers many ways to enjoy, from an apéritif before a meal, to enjoying it over crushed ice, to our Cellar Master’s cocktail of tonic water, with a splash of Ratafia. Whichever way speaks to you, this wine is a must for your collection.
The Haute Cabrière Chardonnay Pinot Noir blend was the first still wine created by Haute Cabrière, and complete serendipity. While harvesting for the Pierre Jourdan Brut Cap Classique, the grapes were ripening too fast making the sugar content too high for Cap Classique. After some experimentation with the grapes and juice, this still wine was launched in 1994 – the first classic Champagne-varietal blend as a still wine in Africa!
However you prefer it, make sure there’s some Chardonnay in your fridge and on your table this Chardonnay Day. With so many different regions, styles and techniques from which to choose, you’re sure to discover a Chardonnay that’s perfect for your palate. And if you haven’t found it yet – join us for a wine tasting and explore our passion for this incredible wine.