Fire by Night is a single origin Chenin Blanc wine grown on our own Paardeberg property called Nuwedam. The Paardeberg holds a mythical place in our minds. It is both ground zero for the quality revolution that’s sweeping the Cape, and home base for some of our country’s wine heroes. Previously under-valued, the Paardeberg sports an embarrassment of riches: pure decomposed granite soil and an abundance of dry-farmed old bushvines.
Situated on a high ridge (three hunderd to three hundred and fifty meters above sea-level) in the heart of the Paardeberg, Nuwedam is home to 20 Ha of mature dry farmed bushvine Chenin Blanc. The soil is pure decomposed granite, yielding wines of clarity and focus. Our vineyards were planted between 1972 and 1985 on various slopes, some facing East, some West, some North. This gives us a palette of options to work with to make our best possible wine from the property each vintage. These vines are our pride and joy. Their roots go deep, grabbing life out of the granite, humming their secret tune, calling you near.
The grapes were hand sorted and whole bunch pressed. The juice is very lightly settled (we like very cloudy raw juice) with no additions to the raw juice, wild fermentation in cement eggs, foudres, and old barrels of various sizes. Fermentation lasted for about one month. The wine was kept on lees for around 12 months, then rested in tank on fine lees without fining for a further six months prior to bottling. Very simple, careful winemaking.
As usual, the wine is bright and bristling, but still the most restrained of our bottlings. It usually takes a few years to show its full potential Now, its youthful nose shows thatch, fynbos, and some citrus. The tightly layered pallet is slightly saline and quite pithy. There are hints of honey and pear to come. I think this wine will grow into something outstanding.