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Our story begins back in 2007 while both 'dragging hose' in Sonoma, California, for the harvest season. A chance meeting between an Aussie and a South African has eventually turned into Craven Wines. After both having taken to the text books at our respective universities, we decided to hit the road, see lots of things, work in lots of places and try and learn as much as possible from this massive wine world. Since meeting we have both been on a similar journey to try and find exactly what we wanted to do. Luckily enough, we had very similar ideas. So back in 2011 we moved to Stellenbosch, South Africa, a place we both have an affinity for. We both feel Stellenbosch has such an amazing array of sites and terroir, and that it is perfect for what we want to do. Which is make site-specific, honest wines. Let the grapes do the talking....
In terms of 'winemaking' we like to keep things as simple as possible. To try and achieve the wines we want to make, we feel the best methods are being hands off, while being very hands on. In other words we pay serious attention to the wine but we do not manipulate the wine. We believe the best way to express site and fruit is to show just that. We do not use cultured yeasts, enzymes, fining agents, etc. throughout the winemaking process. We only use older oak and try our best to find larger format barrels. We allow our wines to stabilize naturally if they so want to. Essentially a minimal amount of SO2 (which is our friend) is the only thing added to our wines.
Pinot Noir was the first wine Mick and Jeanine made back in 2013 with grapes from Jeanine's family farm in Faure. It is a great grape to work with, showing the femininity of this site more than any other grape. This block lies on probably one of the 'coolest' sites in Stellenbosch on a south-westerly slope facing False Bay which is 2.5 miles away. 100% planted to clone 115 in 1998, it is a relatively low yielding block and loves to be picked nice and early.
In the cellar the de-stemmer is set aside opting to ferment this wine 100% whole bunch. Fruit is picked by hand and lightly foot stomped in open top fermenters to get some juice. From there it is lightly pumped over one-two times a day to quite simply move the juice around. The idea is not to over extract, wanting to keep as many whole bunches and berries intact. This was on skins/stems for around 13 days, then drained and pressed to old barrels for 10 months.
Vine Age: 17 years old. Soil Type: Decomposed Granitic Sand over Clay. Oak: 10 months in neutral French barrique. Production: 120 cases
PAIRING: sushi, tuna tartare
PRACTICING ORGANIC. LOW SULFITE. VEGAN.
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