Mellasat Vineyards - Home of the White Pinotage. Yes, you read that correctly. A White Pinotage. The very 1st White Pinotage in the World to be more exact.
Only established back in 1996 on the original Dekkersvlei farm near Paarl, just under the Klein Drakenstein mountains. Mellasat Vineyards enjoys a beautiful panoramic view of the Paarl & those granite domes.
One thing that I need to mention is that this is most definitely a boutique style wine estate. So they have a small range of wine. But this small range is of the highest quality. Entering the market with the more easy drinking Dekker's Valley range or for those more specific palates, the Premium Mellasat range, they have something for everyone.
So lets go back to this famous White Pinotage. The very first vintage, was back in 2007. As they say; "The paradox of this wine is that the eye belies the other senses." And rightfully so. What looks a fresh crisp white wine, is actually a beautiful full bodied red wine. Making a white wine from red grapes, using South Africa's very own Pinotage varietal. By making use of whole bunch pressing, this prevents the juices from obtaining any colour from the skins. Being barrel fermented & matured for 11 months, gives the White Pinotage has a subtle banana flavour coming through, but is balanced out nicely with a more creamy & nutty finish.
Another wine that you may never have even heard of before is on offer in very limited quantities. Tempranillo is definitely a lesser known varietal, but one that should not be taken lightly. This red wine is slightly more savoury in character & can you just imagine what being matured in French Oak barrels for 18 months does to it? A fresh cigar box aroma on the nose, that is followed by dark ripe cherries & black fruits which follow through on the palate. (I'm keeping a bottle of this hidden for a few more years. I think it's going to get a whole lot better with some more age.)
Here I had a private tour of the cellar, by the winemaker herself who you can see absolutely loves what she does.
A first for me was getting to do a tasting straight out of the barrel of a few of the wines that are currently being matured. So exciting! I mean, here I am, drinking wine, with the winemaker, straight out of the barrels in the cellar. More of an unique experience I definitely could not ask for on this trip.
What was interesting is that you could pick up on how the flavours of the wines develop over time & with the maturation. The one year was so fruity & all I could taste was a whole lot of guava, then the very next year, the fruitiness had become so subtle & the wine started smoothing out nicely.
I think it's best you head out to #DiscoverPaarl & plan your visit to Mellasat Vineyards soon. You definitely won't be disappointed.
Check out Mellasat Vineyards here.