Nick Dall recently published a piece, ‘Their first wine developed a cult following: What’s next?‘, profiling SA winemakers Suzaan and Chris Alheit and explaining how ‘they’re putting South African whites on the wine lovers map’.
The Alheits pride themselves on finding tiny, long-forgotten parcels of white grapes and creating wines that are, ‘99% vineyard and 1% winemaking’. Nick feels that this philosophy may be due to the fact that they operate from a rented cellar and don’t own any vineyards. This is in fact, misleading.
The Cartology, their flagship wine now in its 7th bottling, actually incorporates their approach to winemaking. Cartology means ‘the creation of charts and maps based on the layout of a territory’s geography’. They have evaluated the terroir of the Western Cape and have created their own ‘wine map’. This approach has earned them their global cult status which Nick notes ‘simply doesn’t happen to SA wines’. According to Tim Atkin MW, the Alheits are ‘in the midst of a golden era’.
The success of their projects speaks for itself. ‘I have never seen any wine go from nothing to something so quickly,’ says Richard Kelley, an expert on SA wines and the Alheit’s UK distributor. He also went on to say, ‘I don’t sell their wines, I allocate them.’
Success has not slowed them down though and there are still big things to come from them. Tim Atkin speculated that the Alheits would want to purchase their own land soon; a prediction that the they recently confirmed.
The future is bright for the Alheits and in the words of Christian Eedes, ‘it’s hard to see the Alheits making any mistakes.’ We recently reported that their Radio Lazarus 2017 will be the last vintage to be released, however, we are delighted to stock the rest of the Alheit’s wines.
If you would like to be contacted when the Alheit new-releases become available, please email your details to James@winecellar.co.za.