10 March 2017

Visiting Southern Right

To Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and Southern Right which specialises in just two wines, Sauvignon blanc and Pinotage.

Southern Right Entrance
 Southern Right is named after the whales that come every year to calve in the shallow warm waters of Walker Bay; every bottle sold makes a contribution to their conservation.

Southern Right Winery and Tasting Room

There's a small vineyard running alongside the stony track leading to the tasting room, but one trellis next to the road had large yellow fruits. “Lemons,” says Jo, but I say they are apricots or maybe peaches.

Inside the Tasting Room

Inside the tasting room the remnants of a log fire is burning. In front of it is a huge block of stone and in front of that snakes a pipe from the fermenting tanks to the right into the barrel cellar to the left.

We sit outside and are served the 2016 Savvie and 2016 Pinotage.

Southern Right make a cracking good Sauvignon blanc, with grassy intense flavours and a wonderfully lingering finish.

The 2016 Pinotage, which with 9½ months aging in 228 litre & 10% 400 litre French Oak Barrels surely must have just been released, is served from a decanter and is purple in the glass. It looks and tastes very young and a tad disjointed with a grapey finish.

Old Brick Factory

Pinotage grows on the clay rich soils on the neighbouring Hamilton-Russell estate, owners of Southern Right. Evidence of how rich the ground is in clay is the building spouting several tall chimneys in front of the winery. This was used to make bricks here until 70 years ago.

Tasting outside on the stoep

The charming and efficient lady running the tasting room tells me they have stocks of Pinotage from the 2000 vintage to date which each cost just 25R more then the current 2016.

We leave with three bottles of 2016 Sauvignon blanc and one 2015 Pinotage: this has a glowing review in Platter 2017 which gave it 4.5 stars and I'd like to see what it's like.

Southern Right Pinotage in Barrel Cellar

And we learn that the fruit growing along side the vineyard is quince, planted as a cunning ruse to confuse baboons, expecting the baboons will eat the quinces and be deterred from plundering grapes. “And does it work?” I ask. “No,” she laughs. “The baboons don't like the quince and they go straight for the grapes.”

View from Southern Right Tasting Room


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