Avondale produces organic wines for ageing

Avondale, the pioneering estate from South Africa’s Paarl region, hopes to show the ageing potential of biodynamic and organic wines with the limited- release of its Avondale Samsara 2009 ‘Decade Edition’.

Samsara comes from 13 different parcels of grapes that have been brought together to best reflect both the property’s soils, its biodynamic and organic principles and the property’s motto: Terra Est Vita – ‘Soil is Life’.

“South African wines, and specifically organic wines, are often perceived as not being suitable for ageing,” says Avondale owner, Jonathan Grieve. “We want to show that wines produced with care, following organic and biodynamic principles, can improve with age just as well – and perhaps better – than their conventional counterparts.”

Samsara uses 100% Syrah grapes that come from the farm’s low yielding vineyards, with soil types ranging from red sand to decomposed granite to ferricrete. In some vineyards the ground is up to 80% rock, but it’s these low yields combined with Grieve’s unique BioLOGIC principles, that help create a wine with concentrated avours, and fully ripened tannins.

“The reason for the way we farm is to get that core character, the elegance of the grape and the terroir of Avondale, into the wine,” says Grieve.

Avondale’s desire to create wines that show the true character of its vineyards extends to the winery where it only uses naturally-occurring wild yeasts for spontaneous fermentation, a process that can take months to complete, with dozens of unique yeast strains involved in the process. It also uses whole-bunches in the fermentation to bring added structure and freshness to the wine.

“It’s a bit like a relay race, with different yeast strains taking over at different stages. We believe that if you rely on one single strain of yeast it gives you a one-dimensional wine,” adds Grieve.

The Samsara 2009 is ready to drink now, but, “still has years left to mature and improve,” says Grieve.

Hall 1 / Stand W275 WOW!