Opstal Estate

Opstal Estate Carl Everson Chenin Blanc 2021

Slanghoek, Breede River Valley, South Africa

100% Chenin Blanc | 13.5% ABV


Discover this South African Chenin from Opstal Estate. The beauty of this wine is even though it stays the same each year (as it’s harvested from the same Single Vineyard classified block on the farm), each year is different. These precious 38-year-old vines, old French barrels, spontaneous fermentation, and minimalistic cellar intervention proclaim the Slanghoek terroir through this wine.

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The 2021 vintage shows some restraint at first, but then opens up to show quince, peach and pineapple notes with a freshness and finesse ever present on the palate as yellow peach flavours run through your mouth.

Service: Serve slightly chilled at 8-12 ̊C.

Food Pairing: Excellent with poultry, pasta in white sauce, cheeseboard, pork and vegetarian dishes.

From the winemaker Attie Louw "I am the winemaker at our family wine estate in the Slanghoek Valley, about 1 hour's drive northeast of Cape Town. It's only in the last 10 years though since I joined the business with my dad that we have started to excel in making site specific wines where we have a high risk, high reward approach.

I have a great love for Chenin blanc and believe it is undoubtedly the variety we do best in SA and that it should be our calling card in the world. I also have a great passion for our terroir in Slanghoek and my aim is to show (mainly) Chenin (and other wines) from our valley specifically.

One thing I’ve learned in the years growing up and working in the wine industry is that wine as a product, the making thereof or the people behind it should not be taken too seriously and the keyword for me in my winemaking philosophy is drinkability."

The 100 hectare Opstal Estate’s rich history dates back to 1847 when JC Rossouw acquired the farm De Opstal bij de Fonteine.

Like a rocky crown, magisterial mountains circle the Breedekloof Wine Valley, effectively trapping its own climate inside the soaring peaks. Through this the Worcester Fault has pushed up hills of weathered sandstone and granite, crumbling into river pebbles and ancient layers of sedimentary minerals. Long and wide, the valley is carved through with the life-giving Breede River and its tributaries, from which first sprang agriculture in this isolated place.

Winemaking here is informed by this all-important river, antediluvian geology and the imposing mountains, which ensure high diurnal swings and slow ripening conditions for distinct wines that have a sun-imbued richness balanced by an inimitable stony freshness. Thirty families currently permanently live and work at Opstal.

2* (Moving on up)

Opstal Estate, established in 1919 and located in Breedekloof, South Africa, has a strong commitment to both environmental and social sustainability. The estate has recently adopted regenerative farming practices, emphasising the reduction of herbicides through mechanical weed control and investing heavily in composting to improve soil health. Their strategy includes composting grape skins, old vines, and poles, combined with chicken manure, which is reintroduced to the vineyard. They've also implemented biological pest control, releasing indigenous bugs to combat infections, a practice that has shown significant results over the past three years. Regarding environmental impacts, while the vineyard has faced challenges from unusually wet weather conditions, canopy management practices are in place to prevent grape rot. Their approach to biodiversity emphasizes habitat preservation, native plant promotion, and involvement in local conservation projects. On the social sustainability front, Opstal Estate actively engages with the local community, initiating projects and collaborating with local organisations. A majority of their blue-collar staff earn above the minimum wage, and many employees and their families live on the farm. The estate also prides itself on inclusivity, with strong female representation in its leadership and significant contributions from under-represented demographics.

White | Still | 75cl | 13.5% ABV

Recognition: 2012 John Platter Guide - 5* | Cathy Marston - Top 5 wines of the year 2013 | John Platter Guide - 4.5* | Christian Eedes 94pts | 2014 Jamie Goode 92pts | 2015 John Platter Guide - 5* | 2016 Tim Atkin 93pts | 2019 Platter Award - 4.5*

Vinification: The ripening season was normal and without extremes – cold and wet winter followed by moderate temperatures through the start of summer. In the 3rd week of January we had a massive down-pour of rain and even though this was 6 weeks before the actual harvest date of this vineyard, it brought about a big challenge to get the picking date right. I believe we did that better than in 2019 and the resulting wine is more balanced. The wine spent a total 10 months in old French barrels (400 & 500L), before bottling in January 2020. A 5% skin fermented component was included in the final blend which adds great texture.

  • Vegan - Practising (Uncertified)

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