Vuurberg White 2013

Vuurberg white Packsot Vuurberg White 2013
Wine Vitals:
  Winery Vuurberg
Name of Wine Vuurberg White
Vintage 2013
Varietals Chenin, Semillon, Roussanne, Grenacheblanc, Viognier, Verdelho
Speech Bubbles:
Nose: dried apricots, lime cordial, citrus blossom
Palate: Creamy, fleshy, yellow stone fruit
Appearance: shining yellow/green core, inviting, crystal clean
Pairing: Poultry, meaty fish, rich salads
W.0. Coastal region
Style: SA Contemporary
Decant (y/n): N
Serving Temp: 14
About the Wine Our assessment: a very complex blend.   Putting these wines together is anything but an act of random tank-filling. The selection of grape/terroir combinations is reminiscent of a musical arrangement orchestrated by a great maestro. The result: a grandiose and unique composition.From the Donovan’s release notes we gather:

after a great 2012 vintage, 2013 shows even more promise and freshness than before with grapes ripening at lower sugar levels.

Stellenbosch Chenin, Viognier, Semillon and Verdelho along with Rousanne and Grenache blanc from the Voor-Paardeberg appellation and a newly added parcel of Swartland Chenin. This 2013 certainly is rich and concentrated but also shows more freshness as a result of earlier picking.

The nose shows marmalade, limes and burnt orange peel with some floral notes. Minerality leads on the palate with fresh citrus and a waxy, honeyed finish. Enjoy now or over the next 5 years with oysters and rich shellfish dishes.

About the Winemaking “The winemaking is simple”, says the man. “Each parcel is allowed to ferment and mature naturally in order to express the character of each vineyard.”

“Working closely with growers in the Swartland and Stellenbosch to secure the best possible fruit at the optimal ripeness and balance is the most important and first step in making these wines.


The hands-off winemaking approach that is followed is only possible if the vines are low yielding and the growth is in balance. As a result, no acidification and additions of yeast or nutrients is needed once in the cellar.


The white varietals are pressed whole-bunch in a tiny basket press and transferred to barrel with minimal settling and SO2. Here fermentation occurs naturally where after the wines are left on the gross lees to mature for 10 months before blending and bottling.


About the Winemaker A very tall gentleman with a deceptively Nordic appearance.   One could easily picture him carrying a double-sided axe and confuse him for Hagar.

After graduating with a Viticulture and Oenology degree from Stellenbosch University in 2005 and extensive travels/harvests around the world, Donovan returned to SA in 2007 for a season in the Swartland and never looked back.


Unlike most, Donovan was a true independent from the word go. His gig at Vuurberg, where he took over the winemaking in 2010, gives this gentle giant a chance to compose different wines from different regions, playing the SA terroir like a multi-talented one-man-band.


Whether making wine under his own label or for Vuurberg, the focus is always on one white and one red blend produced by hand in tiny quantities from the most unique sites.

What we think(why we picked it) Because it’s a really really good white wine, but also it straddles the line between a summer and autumn friendly wine
Region and Soils: The grapes for this wine come from all over – Stellenbosch, Paarl, Perdeberg, Swartland. Truly “independent” in spirit, this uniquely South African approach to winemaking is gaining a lot of momentum locally and internationally. Watch this pace for a re-definition of “Cape Blends” in the making.
Pricing/Value: R 145 per bottle – R 870 per case of 6

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