2021 Alheit Vineyards Hereafter Here Chenin Blanc

Swartland, South Africa

Drink more Chenin Blanc! And more South African wine in general!!!

I’ve kind of made a personal mission of trying to bring awareness to the awesomeness that is South African wine as of late, and I will continue to fight the good fight!

This is Alheit Vineyards, a family winery started in 2010 by husband-and-wife team Chris and Suzaan Alheit. They met at Stellenbosch University, fell in love, travelled the world together, got married, then travelled some more. Eventually they settled on Hemelrand farm close to Hermanus and started this amazing project.

Their goals are simple. They want to make wines with a clear sense of Cape identity. They want to show that the Cape’s vinous heritage is worth celebrating and protecting. They love old vineyards. They love dry farming. They love bushvines. They think that “ordinary grapes” are in fact wonderful. They believe that great things are possible here in the Cape, and that we are now just scratching the surface of what can be done.

And I believe in them, despite never having met them. But I had the pleasure of trying their wines, and they are exceptional, energetic and ethereal.

This is their 2021 Hereafter Here, made from 100% young bushvine Chenin Blanc coming from parcels in Swartland, close to Malmesbury, the Upper Blaauwklippen and Polkadraai. The grapes were picked early in the morning, sorted in the vineyards, and whole bunch pressed. The juice was very lightly settled (we like very cloudy raw juice) with no additions to the raw juice. Wild fermentation took place in old barrels of various sizes. Fermentation lasted for about two months. The wine was kept on lees for around twelve months, then rested in tank on fine lees without fining for a further six months prior to bottling. Very simple, careful winemaking.

I’m going to follow Kate’s lead and write my tasting note in the form of a haiku too!

Razor sharp acid

Passion fruit, lime, and spiced apples

Weight, texture, pure bliss!

I’d recommend pairing this delightful drop with any dish that incorporates chicken and goat cheese!