Old Vine Project seal for Haute Cabrière’s oldest Chardonnay vineyard block.
We have recently joined the acclaimed ranks of Certified Heritage Vineyards in South Africa through the Old Vine Project! The oldest block of Chardonnay on our estate, from French Clone (Burgundy) CY 95, was planted in 1983, and makes us one of just four OVP certified Chardonnay producers in South Africa and the only Certified Old Vine Chardonnay in Franschhoek. We’re proud as punch!
With the introduction of the Haute Collection range of wines in 2019, we began to produce wines exclusively from this now 39-year-old vineyard block: the Haute Collection Chardonnay and Haute Collection Amphora Chardonnay.
Certified Heritage Vineyards
The Old Vine Project (OVP) is the world’s only regulatory authority for heritage vineyards guaranteeing adherence to their high standards and set guidelines for viniculture and viticulture from vineyards aged 35 years+. “Old vines make wines with a unique character. Wines that reflect the vastness of our South African landscape – our harsh climate, our old and sometimes fragile soils, and our complex culture,” states the OVP.
These old vines exist because of the people who cared for them and ensured their survival over many years, and even generations. Old vines and the wines they yield are a testament to the farmer’s love of his land. There are 10 vineyards in South Africa older than 100 years and the OVP seeks to preserve as many old vines in South Africa as possible, celebrating the distinctive wines they produce and the people who cared for them.
“It’s no surprise to me that a significant number of my wines and winemakers of the year have an old vine connection, confirming how vital the old vine project is to the South African wine industry and why the country’s heritage vineyards are so unique,” stated Tim Atkin, Master of Wine.
How it all began...
Our founder, Achim von Arnim, spent many years in the vineyards of France and Germany while studying viticulture at Geisenheim University where he met Danie de Wet, and a lasting friendship began.
When Achim founded Haute Cabrière in the 1980s, he consulted with Danie about planting Chardonnay as he had discovered the soils of Haute Cabrière reflected those he had experienced in Burgundy. Soils such as these support ancient vines in France and discovering them thousands of miles away had sparked excitement. The soil composition in this particular area is ‘Sandy Loam’ and comprise of sand with varying amounts of silt and clay allowing for good drainage and strong vineyard growth.
In 1983, Achim established the estate’s first Chardonnay vineyard in these soils with insight and guidance of his good friend, Danie. This first block was on a modest area no bigger than 0,51 hectares, and it is still producing grapes today.
Since these first vines in the 1980s, we have dedicated each of our three wine ranges to the Burgundian varietals of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir due to the favourable terroir and soils.
French Clone CY 95 (Burgundy)
The Certified Heritage Vineyards of Haute Cabrière hail from the French clone of Chardonnay CY 95 grafted on Rootstock Richter 110.
This was then, and still is today a very popular and above average clone that produces excellent wines, that are well suited for barrel fermentation. Clone CY 95 is characteristic of peach, tropical and buttery profiles, supported by citrus and apple.
The Next Generation
Cellar Master Takuan von Arnim, Haute Cabrière’s second generation, inherited the same passion for producing exceptional Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. In 2019, he and Winemaker Tim Hoek, launched a new addition to Haute Cabrière’s portfolio, The Haute Collection featuring three new wines focused on specific sites and techniques which would showcase Franschhoek’s terroir. These inaugural wines were the Haute Collection Chardonnay, Amphora Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The Chardonnays of this collection are produced exclusively from Haute Cabrière’s now certified heritage vines, the first block established on the estate.
“The Haute Collection is a labour of love. The wines are true to our philosophy that wine should be an exploration of terroir, through the cellar, across the path of a Cellar Master, developing further under cork,” comments Takuan.
Haute Cabrière Certified Heritage Wines
Tim Atkin: 93 Points | Platter Guide: 4.5*
Created from this old vineyard, 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.
Tim Atkin: 94 Points | Platter Guide: 4.5*
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.
BUY WINE OUTSIDE OF SOUTH AFRICA | To order from outside of South Africa, please visit our international retail list.