Highberry's finest

Werner reckons that "we've decided to focus on Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon as these varietals perform the best on Highberry. Both varietals require a long cool growing season which Highberry happily provides. The Schapenberg creates elegant Sauvignon Blancs with lots of concentration and length, and Cabernets with ripe juicy fruit supplemented with firm yet fine tannins. We will focus on these two varietals as they showcase both the Schapenberg and Highberry terroir."

Savignon Blanc

More from Werner: "Sauvignon Blanc was the first wine released by Highberry in 2014. Sauvignon Blanc does traditionally very well on the slopes of the Schapenberg. We selected grapes from our best block high up on the Schapenberg facing False Bay. The vineyard had a bit of an auspicious start as it was neglected by the previous owners. I tasted the grapes and immediately set out to buy the grapes for the company I was working at the time. It was left to its own devices and still made great wine. Andre Parker, one of our partners in Highberry wines bought the land a few years ago and finally brought the vineyard back to its full glory."

The block has high potential Tukulu soils - a soil-type derived from weathered granite which is found on mountain slopes, with good physical and water-retention properties. The block is quite exposed to the South-Easter.

The maiden Highberry Sauvignon Blanc 2014 was typical of the region, reflecting an elegance and concentration of subtle flavours. The refreshing aromas experienced in this particular vintage are citrus peel and cantaloupe, with delicate hints of passion fruit and black current. Only 6 000 bottles were produced and the entire lot was sold in New York.

Due to the positive reception of the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc in New York, we decided to increase the quantity produced from the 2015 harvest in order to supply both the repeat orders from New York, as well as inquiries received from other parts of the world.

The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc harvest was very small after a dry but cool summer, resulting in concentrated flavours. The wine has been well received on the USA and also in South Africa — see its Decanter rating and Sommeliers Selection award further on.

Cabernet Sauvignon

The Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard we selected is a neighbour of the Sauvignon Blanc vineyard that from which we make our Highberry Sauvignon Blanc. Both grow on similar soils and have the same trellising system. The main difference is that the Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard is on a "warmer" slope facing towards the West. The westerly aspect allows for longer sunshine hours which help the vineyard to develop a ripe flavour profile.

Werner made a limited quantity Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2014 harvest which was released after maturing in French Oak barrels during the latter half of 2015. It has just about sold out - see Decanter rating and you'll see why!