In the vineyard
Each parcel of these vines is situated on ocean-facing, mountain slopes of the Helderberg Mountain. These more mild maritime areas of Stellenbosch benefit from the cooling influence of the ocean breezes and the relative altitude. We pre-select the fruit in the vineyard by dropping any fruit which is not in top condition just before harvest. All grapes are then hand-picked and hand-sorted again to ensure only the best bunches make the final blend. No grapes find their way into this wine unintentionally!
In the cellar
The grapes are destemmed and only lightly crushed before going into the fermentation vats and chilled to around 12°C for a minimum of five days. This pre fermentation extraction technique is known as cold soaking and gives us a chance to extract the colour and essence of the grape from the skins as gently as possible. When fermentation does start, it does so completely spontaneously (known as “natural fermentation”) and without the aid of inoculated yeasts. With specific emphasis on gentle extraction the skins are submerged once or twice a day by manual cap punching. After fermentation the wine is left on skins for about ten days, which gives it more time to complete its leisurely extraction. The free-run juice is then drawn off and the pomace and skins are left over-night to drip-drain into “Demi-Muids”. (These are 600L French Oak barrels we have been importing to South Africa for well over a decade).These are not mechanical pressings but natural, gravitational pressings, which give rise not only to the name of this wine but to far more integrated and supple tannins in the final wine. Furthermore, this juice is denser and richer than free-run, without the astringency of mechanical pressings. Malolactic fermentation occurs in barrel and Demi-Muids for optimum integration. After 9 months of maturation the individual components are then racked-out, assembled for the first time in tank, then returned to barrel to complete maturation over a further 5 or 6-month period. To our knowledge, this is a unique method in South Africa and has produced a wine of depth, complexity and intensity, yet with finesse and class. By definition, production will always be extremely limited (we don’t bottle Gravity every vintage) and can only come from our finest Stellenbosch grapes.
This wine will pair well with heartier richer meals.