Vines & Wines
Vines & Wines
In 1999 variety of Pinot noir clones, 459, 667, 115, 777 and 9, were planted. Further plantings followed in 2000 to bring the number of Pinot noir vines to 16 000. At the same time 7000 Sauvignon blanc, clones 316 and 11, and 650 each of Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon were introduced to the loamy soils on the northern slopes of Cradock Peak. A 1000 Chardonnay vines planted in 2001 and 1000 each of Riesling, Semillon, Pinot noir and Sauvignon Blanc planted in 2013 completed the now 7.9ha under 30 000 vines. The vineyard slope faces north west and the rows are placed to allow the predominant south easterly winds to run their length. Drip irrigation lines are in place but it is seldom necessary to irrigate.
From the early times the Herold team experienced the ups and downs of contending with baboons, bush pigs and fruit eating birds. The summer rainfall pattern (an annual average of 820mm) and mountain mists contribute to a high mildew threat which is manage with vigilance and a responsible spray programme.
Nature lovers, the Herold Wines’ families strive to work with the environment wherever possible. Fertilizers and pesticides are not used and mowing between the vine rows keeps herbicides to the minimum.
Harvest begins in late March, nearly 190 days after first bud break. The grapes are handpicked in the chilly first light, before the sun appears over the mountains, and delivered to the cellar where the men who pruned, tipped and topped, turn their hands to crushing, fermenting, punch downs and pressing off old school with the small basket press the traditional way.
To retain flavours and aromas minimal fining and filtering is done. No animal fining products are used, making the wines vegetarian friendly. This could lead to residual cloudiness or sediment which settles if the wine is stored upright or decanted before serving. The wines are low in unnecessary and unhealthy chemical additives and reflect the authenticity of the grapes produced in the Herold vineyard.
Choosing to keep the wine close to home and heart the team bottle the Herold wines in their own cellar, making use of a small hand bottling unit.