Darling Cellars – bush vines from the cool West Coast.

At Darling Cellars our wines are all about location, location, location, and our old, un-irrigated bush vines. In one word: terroir. We don’t make our wines; we grow them.

The Darling area is on the West Coast some 80 km’s north of Cape Town. Some of our vineyards enjoy the coolness of the Darling Hills 10 km’s from the Atlantic while others bask in sun in the flatter hinterland. Our lucky winemaking team thus has abundance of flavour profiles to play with not to mention a funky mix of varieties. Darling is best known for Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc as well as old vine Chenin Blanc and Cinsaut. With unique growing conditions, the dryland farmed vineyards ensures deep-rooted vines and therefore produce wines with an optimal concentration of colour, flavour and tannin structure. 96% of our vineyards are un-irrigated bush-vines so yields are very low and the quality proportionately high. Probably the best terroir in the world?  We like to think so.

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image: Chenin blanc, planted in 1980

Old Bush Vines Cinsaut 2016

CINSAUT

Old Bush Vines Chenin Blanc 2017

CHENIN BLANC

The Winemaker

Pieter-Niel Rossouw

Born in Bonnievale, went so school there till 1996. Started studying at Elsenburg Agriculture College in 1997 and qualified as winemaker in 1999. Firsts contact with wine was when I fermented Cinsaut juice in a 2lt Coke plastic bottle in my mother’s fridge with a closed lid. It was the first of many explosions, controlled and some uncontrolled, in my winemaking career.

With my love of the ocean, I have past many times through Darling on my way to Yzerfontein. The old bush vines and soils always made me wonder how the wines would be. Then came the opportunity to make wine at Wellington Wines from grapes from Darling. These wines were always different. The colour, fruit and tannins were always softer, more intense and unique.  While enjoying a freshly caught snoek of crayfish, a Darling Sauvignon Blanc of Chenin Blanc would always be somewhere in the same area.

Darling is well known for their Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz, but for me the very old Bush vine Chenin Blanc and Cinsaut is very special.

Photo: Winemakers at Darling Cellar: Pieter-Niel Rossouw, Maggie Immelman, Carel Hugo and Anthony Meduna.

Cinsaut 

Planted in 1978

Chenin blanc

Planted in 1980 and 1981