The Hill&Dale range, which is produced in the Stellenzicht cellars outside Stellenbosch, is being expanded by the addition of two new wines, a 2012 Pinot Grigio and a 2011 Shiraz. The range, of which the first wines were launched about a decade ago, has seen its popularity consistently growing not only locally but also in overseas markets despite the present adverse economic conditions.
Lize-Marie Gradwell, marketing manager of Cape Legends which markets the Hill&Dale range, said the choice of cultivars for the new wines was very much determined by market demand. “Shiraz has gained enormous popularity and is now the red varietal most planted at the Cape after Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a logical choice, also given the proven success of the range’s existing Cab/Shiraz blend.
“Pinot Grigio was also chosen to meet growing local demand for this varietal which is very much in vogue today, especially in the UK. Although its local popularity is of very recent origin, the vineyard from which the grapes for our wine were sourced was planted 30 years ago and is now at its peak.”
The range, named for the Hillandale farm which forms part of Stellenzicht, is made by Guy Webber of Stellenzicht Vineyards who has gained an enviable reputation for his innovative approach to winemaking. The grapes for all the wines – there are six in addition to the two new ones – are sourced from a number of high-quality vineyards all in the Stellenbosch area.
Guy said the wines in the range, which are accessible in both price and taste profile, are intended for early and easy enjoyment. “They are made in a modern, New-World style but with each nevertheless clearly articulating its place of origin. I try to express in them the unique terroir of Stellenbosch in a way which is both classic and contemporary.
Stellenzicht has over the years become particularly known for its Shiraz and Guy shows the same deftness in shaping the latest addition to the Hill&Dale range as in his much prized Syrah, saying he tried to balance the sweetness of the fruit with some spicy oak flavours imparted during the 11 months the wine spent in wood.
He is very pleased with the freshness and vibrancy of the Pinot Grigio, a mutation of Pinot Noir. “It is an uncomplicated wine but nevertheless very satisfying whether sipping it on its own or enjoying it with a wide range of every-day home-cooked meals.
“The Shiraz offers the same versatility,” Guy said, “eminently drinkable on its own and at the same time ideal with red meat dishes, pastas and winter stews.”
The new Hill&Dale Shiraz is expected to retail for about R52 per bottle and the Pinot Grigio for R39.