“He asked me if I knew about the old vineyard which was in the line-up for uprooting. I replied no. I think he also then realised that we needed to rethink this. Later that morning we stood in the Optenhorst Vineyard. Three months later we tasted the wine from the barrel…we were speechless.”
– Corlea Fourie, Winemaker.

The Optenhorst Chenin Blanc features in their Special Vineyard Selection – those wines which speak of a place where it is rooted. In this Chenin Blanc`s case it has been rooted in a specific site since 1952. In 2010 the Chenin Blanc Association funded research into the old vineyards of the Cape. It turned out the Optenhorst vineyard is the fourth oldest in the country.
One almost finds it unbelievable that the plough & shovel of the farm Twyfeling, were once used by a proud woman who worked the land alone, without her husband by her side. The only testament to her presence is the beautiful homestead she commissioned and the detail in the key to her cellar. This wine is a toast to the rediscovery of the beauty in what the old growers deemed fit for planting in the valley we call home.
“Romans described fides as a command to trust. In grafting vines and winemaking, a relationship like this is always present between soil, climate and the people. As we believe in these relationships, it is a fitting name for the expression of our pursuit in making wines in a natural and original way.”
– Corlea Fourie, Winemaker.

What would you as a winemaker want to make; want to be involved in? This wine, a natural fermented, skin macerated white wine, was the answer. The grape in question is Grenache Blanc. Planted on our decomposed granite soils as bush vines it seemed to be an obvious choice. What resulted was a wine with a beautiful natural texture – a fine tannin backbone – which added a very distinct dimension to the wine.

Photo's by Corlea Fourie

Back to Top