CONSTANTIA WINEMAKERS UNITE FOR FIRST RELEASE OF THE WADE BALES REGIONAL SERIES
On 1st November 2018, négociant* Wade Bales unveiled ‘The Constantia White’, a classic blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The first in a groundbreaking new regional series, The Constantia White embodies the signature style of Constantia, one of the oldest and most prestigious wine appellations in the world.
This is the outcome of a collaborative project combining the talents of the winemakers from seven of Constantia’s top wine farms. Each winemaker selected a specific component of Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon from their best vineyards, tanks and barrels. All seven then participated in a rigorous tasting and blending process, handcrafting the best of Constantia. Paying great attention to detail, they have created a world class wine which best showcases the signature style of the region.
*Négociant [Neg-oh-cee-aunt]: French term for a wine merchant who carefully selects grapes and works with winemakers to produce wine under the négociant’s own label.
“Having immersed myself in the world of wine, I love how wine encompasses so many different elements such as culture, climate, history, geography, science and, of course, the people. Working with winemakers over the years inspired me to initiate the Constantia White project.” – Wade Bales
“The collaboration in crafting this blend is testament to the respect and friendships in the Constantia Valley.” Jacques du Plessis, winemaker at Constantia Uitsig.
“This is a great harmonious blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, made from 7 different Constantia properties by 7 like-minded winemakers with the aim of producing a typical Constantia white. Its sure to be a collector’s item and certainly has the potential to age for a good few years in the cellar.” Justin van Wyk, Constantia Glen
THE WADE BALES REGIONAL SERIES
The second in the Wade Bales Regional Series, The Stellenbosch Red 2017, will be released in the second half of next year.
With the end goal being to identify the style of wine which best expresses each of the Cape’s famed wine regions, this series is set to strengthen South Africa’s local and international reputation for recognised regional styles.
Acknowledging the unique environmental and social responsibility challenges faced by winemakers and wine farmers, Wade Bales will donate R10 from each bottle sold of The Constantia White to support initiatives aimed at finding a sustainable solution to wine growing on the slopes of Table Mountain.
THE CONSTANTIA WHITE WINEMAKERS
Brad Paton has made wine since 2004 at Buitenverwachting, one of the oldest wine farms in the valley, renowned for its award-winning Sauvignon Blanc – contributing a prized component of The Constantia White. Founded in 1796, Buitenverwachting was part of Governor Simon van der Stel’s original Constantia farm, the birthplace of wine in South Africa.
Justin van Wyk has worked at Constantia Glen since 2008, specialising in making cool-climate wine blends. He practices what he preaches, “Respect the terroir, and work with it as much as you can to enhance the quality of the wine, whilst maintaining the identity and sense of place”. He contributed their sought-after Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon to The Constantia White.
Jacques du Plessis, winemaker and viticulturist at Constantia Uitsig. He comments, “The chance to gain confidence with cooler climate viticulture and winemaking in Constantia has been very valuable. I prefer working for smaller, vineyard focused wineries that allow me to try new things”. He contributed the estate’s five-star Semillon to The Constantia White.
Boela Gerber has been winemaker since 2001 at Groot Constantia, the longest-standing winemaker in the valley at the oldest wine farm in the southern hemisphere, celebrating its 333rd anniversary in 2018. He says, “I want to express a sense of place in all our wines, a taste of Constantia’s character.” Boela contributed Sauvignon Blanc to The Constantia White.
Matthew Day has worked since 2008 in the cellar at Klein Constantia. The cellar is renowned for its single vineyard and single bloc expressions of cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc – which went into The Constantia White – and for its recreation of Vin de Constance, the legendary dessert wine immortalised by the likes of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Baudelaire.
Gregory Brink Louw, winemaker and viticulturist at Silvermist, has worked tirelessly for two decades to create the only organically certified wine estate in the Constantia Valley. Set high on Constantia Nek, it is famous for its organic, single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc – which add complexity to The Constantia White. Greg has a simple, yet purist approach to winemaking.
JD Pretorius has been winemaker since 2009 at Steenberg, another of the historic wine farms of the Constantia Wine Valley. Founded in 1682, this cellar is renowned for its signature Magna Carta blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon – both of which make up a key component of The Constantia White, defining the valley’s signature style.
The Constantia White 2018 is a classic blend of Sauvignon Blanc (67%) and Semillon (33%). It shows fresh aromas of passionfruit, nettle and lime, following through on the palate with luscious flavours of citrus and winter melon from the Sauvignon Blanc component. An undertone of sweet spice is derived from the Semillon barrel-fermented in French oak which adds complexity to this Constantia wine of origin.
A limited release of only 900 x 6 bottle cases, The Constantia White 2018 is packaged in a designed collectors box and is available for R220 per bottle.