Allée Bleue Wine estate in Franschhoek celebrates cellar innovation with limited-release ultra-premium “Black Series”

Allée Bleue has long been famous for its award-winning Platinum-label Pinotage, drawn from high-lying Piekenierskloof vineyards as well as the Estate’s own exceptional Pinotage blocks.

The Black Series is about showcasing our absolute passion for wine, and our constant innovation in the cellar.  It’s the very best of what the winery, the team and the vineyards can achieve.

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Allée Bleue Black Series Old Vine Pinotage 2016

Black Series Old Vine Pinotage

The Winemaker

Van Zyl Du Toit

Van Zyl du Toit works his magic in the cellar, he joined Allée Bleue in 2009, having previously worked for Simonsig. He hails from Riebeeck Kasteel in the Cape’s Swartland and comes from a winemaking family.

His energy, enthusiasm and craftsmanship have provided the farm with a clear sense of direction for the wines – the numerous awards bear testament to the fruits of his labour.

The story about how winemaker Van Zyl selected these vineyards.

In the latter part of 2009, I had to start sourcing grapes to supplement our production. Word of mouth got me onto this farm where Oubaas Van Zyl has some of the most pristine and sought after old vines. Included, but not limited to,  is a block of ungrafted Pinotage planted 1976 ( but he is sure his father planted it in 1974 but in those days record keeping wasn’t what it is today). So of course you rock up there after numerous phone calls and e-mails to start the negotiations. Reception up on Piekenierskloof is notoriously bad, and the farmers up there use it to their full advantages. If you want something from there or them, you drive there, say hello, do your business, and grab a Kardoesie pie on your way back. But if you walk in these vineyards, the hair on your arms stand up, you immediately feel that you are in the presence of greatness. Just look at the picture, greatness on the right is the PINOTAGE, and greatness on the left is ME. The rest is then just good communication and trust between the winemaker and grape grower( here I am fortunate enough to have some Van Zyl blood in my veins) , sound winemaking and then you are well on your way to make a wine that represents the age and stature of these great old vines.

The farmer

Johan van Zyl

 

Johan ( Oubaas) Van Zyl, together with his brother Potgieter, are most probably at the forefront of farming old vines on Piekenierskloof. Between them they have an immense collection and great volumes. But he is not limited to farming only grapes. Citrus and tea plays a huge roll in his diverse farming activities and I must say, it is a pleasure to work with someone that is so knowledgeable, forward thinking and a true pioneer…..hence Piekenierskloof.