Alheit Vineyards

Western Cape
We aim to make wines that have a fine form and are not bulky. Nobody likes to fight their way through a massively rich, boozy, flabby, beast of a wine. We hope to make wines that have ample power, but no excess weight – something akin to a gymnast, rather than a sumo wrestler.

Historical records show that most of the earliest vines planted at the Cape – Muscat, Chenin Blanc, Semillon, and Palomino – were white varieties. These arrived back in 1655/6, in the days when Hendrick Boom tended the Compagnie’s Tuin. This means that these staple white varieties were growing in the Cape some time before there was any Cabernet Sauvignon growing in the Medoc. These vines have had centuries to adapt to our conditions and have done so extraordinarily well.

If a New World winery made four or five different Cabernet Sauvignons, or as many different Chardonnays, they would certainly be doing something out of the ordinary. The reason for this perceived abnormality is that we are geared to think in terms of grape variety, rather than in terms of place.

We are privileged to be able to work with some of the most extraordinary dry farmed bush vine vineyards in the Cape. For the most part the plots that we work with are between 30 and 50 years old.

At this age, the vines are mature enough to express their origin with an effortless kind of grace. We really love these old blocks, both because of their quality and because they represent our heritage. CHRIS AND SUZAAN ALHEIT