Grape - Chenin Blanc
Where - Swartland
What - Craig and Carla Hawkins have always been doing things a little differently. Craig, although heralding from a winemaking family, decided to go his own way in 2008 with Testalonga; an innovative, organic, experimental winery in the Mediterranean climate of Swartland. The husband and wife team have been impressing wine lovers and un-impressing wine authorities ever since.
The fifty-year-old Chenin Vines offer a low yield of grapes, but an exceptional freshness. They're hand-harvested, pressed in whole bunches and wild fermented in stainless steel. The Testalonga ethos is not to add anything to their wines on bottling other than the tiniest amount of SO2 imaginable.
True to its name, this Chenin Blanc packs a punch. The acidity is instantly recognisable and remains firm from start to finish. The juice is a cloudy apple, straw-colour in the glass with citrus and herbaceous aromas for days. On the palate you'll find lemon pith, sage, sultana and a big ol' hit of slate. Although completely natural, there's no crazy funk or kombucha vibes - a great wine to share with friends needing an introduction to natural wine life.
Fresh, bright, dry. Vegan. Low intervention. Organic practicing. ABV 12%.