The Drift Estate There Are Still Mysteries

>>>The Drift Estate There Are Still Mysteries
The Drift Estate There Are Still Mysteries2021-12-02T10:05:51+00:00



“This block is going to get whacked by the South-Easter,” he stated matter-of-factly. I was half sliding, half walking down the steep gravel slope. We were staking out what would eventually become the small vineyard that made this wine.

“Ja, I know, Dad,” I replied over my shoulder, trying to sound confident; trying to sound as though the university education I’d enjoyed was money well spent.

These Pinot vines now gaze out to the south-west, where the sun sets into the sea. This mesmeric view is difficult to turn away from.

Our Drift Estate wines are all unmistakably mountain-born. The crunchiness of elegant red fruit tells you the grapes ripened at altitude. The concentration of aroma and flavour are the result of the wind. And with this Pinot, the crisp, tenacious finish is a cool-climate, mountain signature.

“Does this vineyard need to be this cold?” he asked. “It’s always cold up here.”

“Yes, Dad. It’s Pinot.” I am trying to sound like the guy who’s made the stuff before and really knows what he’s on about. “Pinot can handle the wind.” I pause, trying to line up the next row of stakes that will one day be trellis poles. “And anyway, it doesn’t really gust here, Dad.”

I notice him pause, and straighten up and look down at me for a moment from the edge of the ridge. It was an early spring evening. A few tenacious Jackal Buzzards were still cruising overhead, hoping the late sun would catch scurrying prey in the Renosterbos around us.

He didn’t need to say anything. We were at altitude, about 45kms from the cold ocean to the south, and on a wind-torn, uncomfortably-steep slope. Crucially, we were sinking our hard-earned money into an unproven vineyard area.

When I did my soil tests decades ago, I unearthed this little spur of soil – unlike any I’d ever seen in South Africa. Ancient, decomposed Table Mountain sandstone, mixed with weathered shale and red clay and interspersed with metamorphosed limestone. It looked perfect to grow powerful, yet elegant Pinot Noir. And so it has proved. We produce 7 barrels a year, but only bottle in exceptional years. To date (in 2018) we have only released three vintages from a vineyard planted in 2002.

2018 Overberg Highlands 100% Pinot Noir O’Brien
Alc % pH TA g/L RS g/L
12 3.42 6.0 2.1
2018 Platter’s Wine Guide 2021 4.5 Stars
2016 Platter’s Wine Guide 
China Wine and Spirit Best Value 2018
James Suckling
Sommelier Wine Awards 2018
4.5 Stars
Double Gold

93 Points
2015 The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2018
Wine Magazine, South Africa
Wine Label Design Awards 2018, South Africa
Platter’s Wine Guide 2019
James Suckling
90 Points
4.5 Stars
92 Points
2013 Platter’s Wine Guide 2017 4.5 Stars
2012 Wine Magazine, South Africa 91 Points

Go Sophisticated – a Pinot with so many layers of flavour you find something different in every sip. Loves nuanced, layered flavours and mildly spiced food. Everything from oven-roasted game birds, like pheasant, to beef carpaccio, vitello tonnato and creamy prawn curry with cashews.

WIETA, SAWIS certified single vineyard


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