THE TOWNSHIP WINERY
THE TOWNSHIP WINERY
The journey started in a township taxi rank with the smoke and crackle of an open fire and the smell of roasting corn. Patiently waiting, Kate Jambela asked the griller where he lived. She discovered that, like many thousands, he and his family slept under used corrugated iron, held up on scraps of wood, in a nearby backyard shanty.
Kate proposed the griller contact the City’s housing project but learnt that the desperate need to earn to live left no time for the process. Within hours she had resigned from her job and set out to build this family home. Stubborn and resourceful, over time she built over 6 000 warm and safe township homes for families living in shacks.
THE TOWNSHIP WINERY
All of our vines are growing within sight of the Ocean. As this production is still small, we incorporate grapes from our neighbours in Stellenbosch and Durbanville. All of these vines grow under extreme conditions in highly leached soils, constantly buffeted by strong winds. They produce rich grape juice that brings us concentrated and complex wines.
Grape Variety: Syrah
Few black farmers own vineyards in South Africa. The capital required to make even the most modest start is out of reach for the vast majority. Child of farm workers, Arleen van Wyk rented a small piece of township land to make a start with vegetable growing. With the assistance of Google she taught herself how to care for plants and make a living for her family as a market gardener. A kindly loan from her elderly landlord allowed her to buy the property and commence the long term project of vineyard establishment.
Between the winemaking towns of Durbanville and Malmesbury, the smallholding village of Mikpunt in the heart of the Swartland is home to the Wild Plum block. The vineyard has the clay rich soils that have brought international recognition to the Syrah variety.
After bunch cooling and grape sorting and a combination of grape skin breaking by a small destemmer and foot maceration in an open bin, the mash was allowed to warm and fermentation to start up. Multiple punch downs kept the grape skins moist. When the process was complete the mash was squeezed to separate the solid material and the new wine was moved to a single barrel, where it remained for 24 months.
Gentle spicy aromas greet the nose. The intense but soft tannins provide structure to balance the peach and pepper flavors. A lingering fruit and oak finish completes the impression.
Philadelphia (Western Cape): South-east facing block, 7km from the surf, but protected from salt contact by the bulk of a conical hill.
Durbanville: East facing block on a gentle slope of deep shale soil.
Free-run juice, fermented for 7 days till dry, lees stirred frequently, then once a week for 6 months, before bottling. Great capacity for development in maturation for at least three years.
Colour: Hints of green
Aroma: Spice and citrus Taste: Full and intense, with stonefruit, capsicum and lemon
Winemaker: Wayne Arendse
Appellation:12 km from the surf
Grape Variety: Sauvignon Blanc
The Township Winery is based on the Cape Flats which were once a high-density farming zone supplying fruit and vegetables to neighbouring Cape Town. In the 1960s, this agricultural area was chosen as the base for the apartheid era removal and resettlement of black people. Most of the Philippi farms and vineyards were lost to accommodate this massive housing project.
The Township Winery is bringing vineyards and wine culture back to this unique terroir. This is a long- term project. In the meantime, selected maritime-influenced vineyards in neighboring districts have been chosen to augment The Township Winery’s grape supply.
Appellation: Western Cape
Grape Variety: Merlot 52%, Cabernet Sauvignon 48%
The majority of South Africa’s most prized vineyards are planted in comparatively sheltered locations on mountain foothills, near to the meeting point of the Atlantic and Southern or Indian Oceans. These sites are exposed to the ocean-influenced variable climatic conditions driven by extreme velocity winds, high humidity and low diurnal temperature ranges (warm nights). Combined with heavily leached soils, these contribute to naturally reduced crop sizes, enhancing both fruit flavors and wine structure.
Cabernet Sauvignon The chosen block is planted in Durbanville’s 600 million year old schist soils, Facing south east on a slope that is partially sheltered from the summer winds and is just 3 miles from the Atlantic.
Merlot The vines are planted on a north west slope of a ridge in the foothills of the Helderberg mountain range, 4 miles from the Southern Ocean. The soils are granite based, also leached of fertility, and the site is cooled by exposure to moisture laden breezes, lengthening ripening and concentrating flavor.
Both varieties were fermented in open tanks, and given regular punch-down mixing of the cap of grape skins that rises to the top of the fermenting mash. Just before the wine was dry, the skins were pressed. The wine was allowed to ferment dry in a tank before the maturation phase. All of the wine was then barreled, where both varieties remained for 18 months, before blending, clarification and bottling.
There are highlights of oak, honey and red fruit on the nose. The mouth feel shows a gentle tannin structure, while the finish shows red berries and a touch of citrus among the oak notes.
WHAT WE DO
They bring purpose to living beyond simple existence. Tending your own plants, harvesting your own fruit, pushing your own wheelbarrow; when these are in pursuit of an objective, everything is beautiful.
With their hands and eyes, the people of Philippi are discovering originality, purity and pleasure amongst what has always seemed to be drabness and despair. Doing things for yourself, alongside your friends and family, is the most powerful motivator.
THE TOWNSHIP WINERY
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