WORDS: RICHARD HOLMES IMAGES: SUPPLIED
Great wines have a story to tell, whether it’s of the vintage, the winemaker or the years of toil that have gone into the vineyards. That’s certainly the case with the new Tales Series from Journey’s End Vineyards, situated on the slopes of the Hottentots Holland Mountains, above Sir Lowry’s Pass Village.
Tucked into a corner of the Somerset West winelands it’s a winery that takes a little effort to get to but is well worth the drive. For starters there are the views, which the tasting centre takes full advantage of, with glass walls looking both into the barrel cellar and out across False Bay.
That coastal terroir has a huge impact on the wines, but surprisingly that’s not the story behind the Weather Station Sauvignon Blanc. Rather it’s named for the “Weather Station” clone of sauvignon blanc which rose to prominence in the Stellenbosch winelands. There’s plenty of complexity here thanks to fruit being sourced from Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl vineyards, and a pleasing richness to off-set the bright acidity on the palate.
The Haystack Chardonnay also has a tale to tell, of the age-old practice of inter-planting vineyard rows with wheat to keep pests away from the precious vines. It’s one of a number of sustainable practices on the farm, from introducing owls to keep rodents from the vineyards, to converting the entire farm to solar power. There’s a lovely balance in the wine too, with both citrus notes and minerality underpinned by a gentle hint of oak.
The Pastor’s Blend is more of a mouthful, as you’d expect from a rich and ripe blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc. It’s a tip of the hat to the two pastors from the nearby Sir Lowry’s Pass village, with whom they collaborate on various community projects. The wine will also leave you with a smile on your face.
But the real crowd-pleaser is The Huntsman, a Rhône-style blend of shiraz, mourvèdre and viognier. It pays homage to the hound-led hunts that were once run on the farm, with the original kennels unearthed during the planning of a new cellar. With violets, dark berries and a hint of spice on the palate, it’s a Very Good Boy indeed.
Journey’s End Vineyards
021 858 1929