Breaking Ground for new Assyrtiko vineyards

Wednesday, 27 February, 2019
Jordan Wine Estate
This may not be Santorini, but the view is as spectacular and the minerally soil on this ocean-influenced, dry and windy hilltop site at Jordan Wine Estate is perfect for Assyrtiko’ says Gary Jordan.

Gary Jordan and Farm Manager Hilton Phipson have been hard at work the past few months with a 30 tonne excavator high up on a wind-swept hill at Jordan, preparing a new vineyard where they will be planting the ancient Greek grape variety, Assyrtiko, this year. Once the vines have been established, they will be trained in the traditional Santorini, ground hugging, basket-weaved style to minimize wind damage to the grapes during summer.

The Assyrtiko grape is a Greek white varietal, indigenous to the island of Santorini. Gary Jordan, a passionate geologist and winemaker, understands the soils on every part of this estate and has determined the perfect location for the growing of Assyrtiko, at the top of a hill overlooking False Bay and the Stellenbosch Kloof Valley. ‘We’re taking global warming seriously’ says Gary. ‘Assyrtiko is a white grape variety that should thrive in these dry, minerally soils while cooled by the strong winds blowing from False Bay only 14km away,’ he adds.

Gary and Kathy’s passion for this vibrant varietal started when they visited Santorini together when Kathy was only 18 years old. The planting of Assyrtiko pays homage to Kathy’s Greek heritage. Gary & Kathy have returned to Greece many times since, spending time learning about the variety while visiting leading Assyrtiko winemakers. ‘Assyrtiko was only recently added as a permitted variety in South Africa, so we’re looking forward to releasing the country’s first commercial Assyrtiko’ adds Kathy. ‘It has taken us some years to get to the planting stage, but winemaker Sjaak Nelson has already had the foresight to install a number of traditional amphorae in our underground cellar that will be used in the winemaking process and now points to the top of Jordan Wine Estate.’

Family-owned Jordan Wine Estate, Stellenbosch, one of the leading estates in South Africa, has been producing award-winning wines since 1993. Featuring a wine tasting centre, luxury accommodation, a world-class restaurant & bakery, where visitors can enjoy fine wines, surrounded by breathtaking vineyards & panoramic views of Table Mountain, False Bay & the Stellenbosch Mountains. The ancient 600-million year old Cape granite soils, elevated vineyards & close proximity to both Indian & Atlantic Oceans, enable Jordan to specialize in classic varieties, well-suited to the unique meso-climates.

Take a 360° Vineyard tour of the estate and view the plot for this new exciting variety | View