The Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus) is one of Africa’s most majestic birds of prey. This wine was named after an eagle that is rare in both its beauty and occurrence as a tribute to the power and grace of a creature synonymous with our great continent.
Gravel soils originating from mountain rock rich in limestone and clay with a high pH allow this single vineyard Chardonnay to portray a spectrum of flavours framed in elegance and complexity, typical features of a classic Chardonnay. Citrus and pear-drop notes are complemented by an intriguing nuttiness, with elegant citrus on the finish. The Bateleur improves in dimension and complexity with age and under the correct storage conditions it can mature in the bottle for many years.
The Bateleur Vineyard
This premier vineyard, one of the oldest Chardonnay vineyards in South Africa, was planted in July 1987 from a very special selection of plant material which had been imported from Burgundy some years before. The size of the vineyard is 3,51Ha on which 13,668 vines are planted.
Vineyard block No: 18B. Wine of Origin De Wetshof Estate, Robertson, South Africa.
The Robertson Valley is characterised by cold winters and sunny summers, with an average annual rainfall of 350 – 400mm. In summer a fresh southerly breeze from the Cape L’Agulhas coast has a cooling effect on the vineyards, allowing the grapes to ripen evenly and in perfect balance.
Nights are chilly and during summer months a mist often shrouds the vineyards until late morning. The dry climate and the bracing br eeze keep pests to a minimum, resulting in sparse spraying programmes.
Computerised irrigation systems linked to weather station data and the monitoring of soil moisture-content ensures the vines are given the correct amount of water needed to produce grapes of optimum ripeness and developed flavours.
Rocky mountain gravelly soil with an abundance of free limestone and a very high pH mixed with a pronounced clay content giving a substantial water retaining capacity ensures superb growing conditions allowing optimum varietal expression from this vineyard.
Age of the vines 27 years
Vines per hectare 4000
Rootstock Richter 99
Planting row 2,40m x 1,0m
Soil pH 7,7 – 8,3
Trellising style 6 wire fence system cordon with spur pruning.
Yield 4-6 tons per hectareBarrel maturation 12 months
Once de-stemming, pressing and overnight settling have been completed, the juice is racked off from the sediment and moved into French oak barrels specially selected by Monsieur Christian Radoux to enhance fruit quality during barrel-fermentation and maturation. After fermentation, the wine remains on the lees under controlled temperatures. Weekly stirring (battonnage) of the lees in the barrels ensures maximum depth of flavour is released into the wine. After some months the wines are racked off the lees and returned to barrels to complete the wood-maturation until it has reached the desired standard for bottling.
Barrel Maturation: 12 months