Chardonnay Mastery in Robertson Wine Valley

Thursday, 21 March, 2019
Beatrix Galloway
The Robertson Wine Valley has once again demonstrated its ability to produce Chardonnay that shines on a world stage, with two wines from the region excelling at the recently held Chardonnay du Monde in France. In addition, one of the winning wines, De Wetshof’s Bon Vallon Chardonnay 2018, was adjudged one of the best 15 wines in this year’s competition.

De Wetshof Estate was one of only 3 South African producers to win a gold medal at this prestigious competition, and the only producer to achieve this feat with an unwooded wine. Robertson Winery added to the region's awards tally by winning a silver medal for the Constitution Road Chardonnay 2016. The Bon Vallon Chardonnay originates from vineyards growing on sites specifically suited to an unwooded style, on broken mountain rock soils rich in limestone and cooled by southerly maritime breezes. The Constitution Road Chardonnay has its roots in a low-yielding vineyard on the farm Wandsbeck, planted in well-weathered deep Karoo soils.

The Robertson wine region is bordered to the north-east by the Langeberg Mountains and the Riviersonderend range to the south-east, with the Breede River flowing through the valley as the life vein of agriculture. Robertson area’s lime-rich soils sets it apart from other wine producing regions in South Africa, and make it especially ideal for the cultivation of Chardonnay. The climate is dry and hot, but south-easterly breezes from the Indian Ocean and occasional mists have a cooling effect on the vineyards and bring moisture to the area. These unique growing conditions are reflected in the region's white and red wines, which display a fresh minerality and exceptional purity of fruit.

According to Robertson Wine Valley’s Chairman, Peter de Wet, there has been a renewed global interest in Chardonnay wines in recent years as the quality offering of emerging wine producing countries consistently improve and consumers have warmed to more approachable wines than were prevalent in the past. “We are proud and inspired by our winning producers, and believe their outstanding international achievements will lead to greater appreciation, value and ultimately market share, for South African wines and Robertson Valley’s Chardonnay in particular.”