Born from a desire to make real wine affordable, False Bay Vineyards, named after South Africa’s most iconic bay which frames much of the country’s premium Winelands, has given its range of wines a fresh new facelift, with each now telling their own unique story.
A sister brand of Waterkloof Estate, the biodynamic bastion outside Somerset West which overlooks the same bay, False Bay Vineyards has always claimed to make honest wines that cross uncharted winemaking waters within the price category.
In 2015, starting with the Sauvignon Blanc, they decided to improve their grape sources for the range and concluding with the Chardonnay in 2017, that vineyard voyage is now complete.
“We felt that now was the perfect time to give those grapes the vessels they deserve. Striking new labels that tell their unique stories,” shares talented cellarmaster for both brands Nadia Barnard. “If we do in fact use grapes from old coastal vineyards, ferment them spontaneously with wild yeast and then age the wine in large wooden casks, why weren’t we tying our flag to the mast and communicating those facts on the labels?!”
Grammy-nominated graphic artist and renowned illustrator Stanley Chow was commissioned to draw a descriptive icon for each of the six wines, to give each their own identity and striking new look.
The False Bay range comprises of two red wines: Old School Syrah and Bush Vine Pinotage; a Whole Bunch Cinsault Mourvèdre Rosé; and three whites: Crystalline Chardonnay, Windswept Sauvignon Blanc and Slow Chenin Blanc.
“It’s all in the name! Each one is different but we harness the same natural ingredients: fantastic coastal fruit, old vines and wild yeast abound, with additions avoided,” adds Nadia.
Meet the latest vintages:
Old School Syrah 2017: This is not a jam soup with toasted oak chips added for mocha flavour. It pays homage to the savoury, wild, yet elegant renditions from Waterkloof custodian, Paul Boutinot’s ancestral lands. Fermented ‘old school’ (cause it’s cool) with wild yeast and raised in large wooden casks.
Bush Vine Pinotage 2014: Not from irrigated, over-cropped vines shackled to wires in stressed out vineyards. No Siree! This beaut is from coastal, dry-farmed bush vines which have had time to adapt and find their happy place. The result is perhaps more ‘Pino’ than ‘Tage’.
Whole Bunch Cinsault Mourvèdre (Rosé) 2017: Not cobbled together from off-cuts of leftover red and white wine. Nor is it red grapes pressed aggressively to maximise juice yield and confected aromas. This fine wine that happens to be the palest of pink, stems from low-yielding coastal vines, delicately whole-bunch basket-pressed for only the purest juice.
Windswept Sauvignon Blanc 2017: Not concocted from over-cropped grapes, nor pumped up on clever winemaking additives. This authentic sip comes from cool, windswept, coastal vineyards that give meagre yields of small berries, imbued with their own natural acidity and intensity.
Crystalline Chardonnay 2017: No muddying, sickly addition, no toasted barrels, no oak chips nor oak-flavoured powder. This crystalline wine reflects a noble white grape in its purest form.
Slow Chenin Blanc 2017: This wine is crafted the wild way – old vine fruit, fermented with wild yeast found naturally on the grapes…not in a packet. And no, the grapes do not take three weeks to get from vineyard to bottle. This magical transformation takes at least six months.
Where did it all start for False Bay Vineyards?
Back in 1994 when, long before founding Waterkloof, Paul Boutinot came to the Western Cape to seek out and rescue grapes from old, under-appreciated vineyards. These treasures were otherwise destined to be lost in the large co-operative blends that were dominating South Africa’s wine industry back then.
Unusual for that time, Paul transformed those Cape gems into wines of minimum intervention: wild yeast ferments, no acid additions…you know the drill. A familiar story to many ‘pure wine’ lovers now, but back then he was swimming against the tide. Even today, making wine this way at the price-level is almost unheard of.
Unusually for that time, Paul transformed those Cape gems into wines with a minimum of intervention: Wild yeast ferments, no acid additions…you know the drill. A familiar story to many ‘real wine’ lovers now, but back then he was swimming against the tide. Even today, making wine this way at the price-level is almost unheard of.
Today, the ingredients remain the same: Fantastic coastal fruit, old vines and wild yeast, with additions avoided. The range now sports a brand new look, so be sure to stock up when you next visit us!
For more information visit www.falsebayvineyards.co.za.