Situated in the picturesque Paarl Valley, Boland Cellar has much to boast about.
Nominated as one of South Africa’s top 20 export companies in their category, being named one of the top 100 wine producers in the world by the World Association of Wine & Spirits Writers as well as being arguably the top wine producer from the much acclaimed Paarl region, gives us much to be grateful for.
The late Peter Sichel once offered a definition of what makes a great wine. He stated that the character of a wine is defined by the terroir, the quality by the people and the personality by the weather.” Our definition is much simpler; if you think you had a glass but the bottle seems to be finished, then it must be a great wine. With this in mind, what exactly defines our wines as unique expressions quality and character?
We believe in Passionate Winemaking and Masterful Blending
We include the role of the human stewards of the grape as crucial components (adding passion) in achieving fine expressions of regionality in our wines. Contrary to what an ever increasing number of people state, we do not believe that a wine “makes itself”. To be clear, while we advocate a “hands (almost) off” approach in the cellar, we believe that both viticulturist and winemaker have a few crucial decisions to make (when to pick, how much maceration etc.). Possibly the most important decision is the art of blending. It starts by identifying appropriate vineyards from the different climatic zones and ends with a definite goal in mind.
We do not subscribe to the theory that Old World vinification techniques applied in a New World context will always brings out the best of both. However, we have learned that certain traditional techniques such as natural fermentation for all our reds and leaving whites on the fine lees longer than the norm, manifests in making bright and fruity New World style wines that somehow still retain an underlay of old European flair in their construction and taste – being world class representatives of our unique viticultural environment.
We are a regional specialist
In the New World almost everyone can theoretically claim superior terroir since there is no regulation over the claim. We prefer to focus on the merits of what we call “regionality”. The concept of being a regional specialist can only become a competitive advantage if you have an intimate knowledge of the region, implying the luxury of time. For more than 6 decades we have been working in the Paarl region with its many different mesoclimates, soils and aspects, in time allowing our viticulturists to isolate five different climatic zones. Nowadays we achieve product differentiation on the basis of the added complexity gained by masterful blending of wines from the different zones.
Our extended experience allowed us to reach a situation where the vines best suited to the local conditions within each climatic zone are planted there. Although our viticulturists worked hard to arrive at this point, we do not claim that it was a scientific exercise throughout, sometimes we were plain fortunate to arrive at the answer earlier, and in other instances it took longer. Planting a vine here in this patch, or there in that one is interpretive and choosing the variety & clone is a selection – even with the aid of science.
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