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Christopher Piper Wines
1 Silver Street, Ottery St Mary EX11 1DB, Devon

Tel: (01404) 814139
Fax: (01404) 812100

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Closed Bank Holiday Monday Mon-Fri 0900-1300,1400-1730 Sat 0900-1300,1430-1630

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South Africa

Jordan Vineyards, STELLENBOSCH: STELLENBOSCHKLOOF

Gary and Kathy Jordan have been making world-class wines since 1993 on a farm with a history going back over 300 years. He's a geologist, she's an economist - together this husband and wife team is a phenomenon. Gary's parents, Ted and Sheelagh, bought the 146-hectare Stellenbosch property in 1982, and embarked on an extensive replanting programme, specializing in classic varieties suited to the different soils and slopes. From the Jordan hillside vineyards one has spectacular panoramic views of Table Mountain, False Bay and Stellenbosch.

Gary and Kathy worked internationally for two years, refining their high-energy instincts with practical experience. They returned home to build a cellar in 1992.

The following year the vines were judged ready for making wines that would carry the Jordan name. From that first year it was obvious that a new star had been added to the winemaking firmament. Continuing success has enlarged the team, with the focus on producing fiercely individual wines that combine the fruity accessibility of the New World with the Classic Elegance of the Old.

The Jordan philosophy is simple: Success begins in the vineyards. Exceptional wines are made possible by careful management of the farm's extensive natural assets through innovative canopy management and selecting varieties and clones specifically suited to the various soils and slopes.

Unique by Nature's Design, the Jordan slopes face North, South, East, and West, with vineyards lying at differing altitudes from 160 to 410 m above sea level. The vineyards with their close proximity to both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans benefit from coastal fog and cool breezes. A mild Mediterranean climate with a maritime influence minimizes the risk of frost damage.

The soils at Jordan have evolved from 600 million year old Cape Granite, and range from deep, well-drained clay-loam to gravelly and sandy duplex soils situated on clay.

The Jordan philosophy combines the vineyards' natural assets with innovative management, creating a profound expression of terroir. It also includes a profound respect for nature with a selection of indigenous flora and fauna to be found on the farm

The cellar is pure Jordan - an elegant, yet bold fusion of Old and New World architectural ideas. State-of-the-art, practical and functional, the high-tech elements blend easily with the forces of nature. The cellar is designed around a gravity flow system using natural cooling through recessing the cellar into the slope of the mountain.
Stainless steel fermentation tanks, varying in capacity, enable fruit from individual vineyards to be vinified separately. Tanks are jacketed with cooling bands to ensure controlled fermentation and storage temperatures.

The barrel-fermented white wines are made according to classic Burgundian methods. Fermentation takes place in the coolest area of the underground cellar. Separate barrel cellars are designated for Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz where the wines mature and undergo malolactic fermentation in Bordeaux-shaped barrels. To ensure the highest level of quality, all wine is bottled and labeled on site, thus completing the circle from vineyards to wine.

The Jordan cellar - a perfect environment to transform exceptional fruit into world-class wine.

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Kanonkop Estate, ELSENBURG, STELLENBOSCH

This is very definitely a specialist red wine estate and it is the home of the king of Pinotage, Beyers Truter, who is resident wine-maker at this 140 hectare vineyard, situated about 8km. due north of the town of Stellenbosch. The vineyard, which has an unusually large percentage of old-bush vines, is run by Johann and Paul Krige whose passion and devotion to Kanonkop is well-known - they declassified the entire 1996 Pinotage production as they felt it was just not up to what was expected. The Beyerskloof Pinotage comes from the farm that Beyers Truter, the Kriges and various other investors bought in 1988. This is a beautifully made, highly affordable, classic Pinotage with a succulent, approachable raspberry and plum fruit encased in a rich, spicy oak.

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Landskroon Estate, AGTER-PAARL, SUIDER-PAARL

The de Villiers family were amongst some of the earliest settlers in the Cape, arriving in 1692. From then, until 1973, they specialised in traditional fortified and port-type wines (in 1999, they still managed to scoop the SAA Port Trophy for the third time) and, until recently, they sold a large part of their table wine production to KWV. However, in the early 1990's, Paul and Hugo de Villiers made the sensible decision to go on their own, and with 80% of the 180-hectare vineyard planted in red grape varieties this has proved to be an excellent move. Despite their popularity and the wide acclaim that they receive, the de Villiers refuse to hike-up their prices. In time for the excellent 2002 vintage, they managed to open a state-of-the-art red wine fermentation cellar and the results of this serious investment are easy to see. s

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Glen Carlou Vineyards, PAARL-SIMONSBERG

Walter Finlayson's son, David, has taken over the wine-making at this 40 hectare estate which nestles in the foothills on the Paarl side of the Simonsberg Mountains. David has come back to the family estate, brimming over with energy and ideas, following wine-making experience in Australia and Bordeaux and he is, indeed, an exceptionally talented wine-maker. Our recent visit to Glen Carlou provided us with a tasting of some of the most exciting wines we saw in the whole of the Cape.


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Backsberg Estate, SUIDER-PAARL

For some time, Michael Back's Backsberg Estate has been languishing in the doldrums, not doing anything terribly bad but, on the other hand, not performing to its real potential. Previous wine maker, Hardy Loubser left in 2001 and his place was taken by the dynamic Alicia Rechner, having spent a number of years learning the ropes in the McLaren Vale and in the Mosel. Backed by the eminently successful viticulturist Clive Trent , who arrived shortly after her, this potent duo has taken Backsberg into the twenty-first century with a serious bang. Michael Back has given them virtual carte blanche to elevate the estate's quality to where it should be and there has been an interesting blend of innovation and return to traditional methods that we particularly like. Open fermenters have returned to the newly extended cellars whilst a definite organic approach in the vineyards must be applauded. Two varieties that we feel are particularly well catered for at Backsberg are the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Paul Cluver Estate, GRABOUW, ELGIN

We are delighted to have been appointed agents for this highly acclaimed recent arrival on the South African wine scene. The 60 ha. Paul Cluver Estate is situated within the Kogelberg Biosphere, a marine and floral kingdom encompassing the entire coastal region from Gordon's Bay to Bot River vlei and inland to Grabouw. The vineyards are ideally situated as they are planted between 400 - 500m. above sea level, high up amongst the Elgin apple orchards, on the de Rust farm which has been owned by the Cluver family for over three generations. Present owner, Paul Cluver, is South Africa's leading neuro-surgeon but his passion for wine led him to form a joint partnership, in 1986, with Nederburg. Until 1998, all the fruit from the vineyard was taken by Nederburg but, as the vineyards matured, Cluver felt that the time was right to make some hand-crafted wines at the property. The arrival of Stellenbosch and Burgundy-trained son-in-law, Andries Burger, was another turning point in this remarkable estate's development. Burger, has made eight vintages of stunning wines that completely captivated us.

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Neil Ellis Wines, DARLING and COASTAL REGIONS

Neil Ellis is considered to be one of the most talented wine-makers in the Cape. His speciality is sourcing wonderful supplies of high quality fruit from a wide range of different growers throughout Western Province. Although Neil Ellis' operation is actually based in Stellenbosch, the most exciting Sauvignon Blanc that we tried whilst in South Africa is made by Ellis from grapes that he sources from vineyards in Darling.

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De Wetshof Estate, BREEDE RIVER, ROBERTSON

Danie and Lesca's beautiful estate is 16km. south-east of Robertson, situated on the confluence of the Cogmanskloof and Breede Rivers. The de Wet family arrived in the Cape in 1693 and have been actively involved in the region's wine industry ever since. Geisenhiem-trained Danie is one of the Cape wine industry's leading 'players' as, apart from being the most decorated producer for his own de Wetshof Estate wines, he is a Director of KWV, runs the Cape Estate Wine Producers' Association and is Chairman of the board of the Veritas wine competition. Despite these time-consuming jobs, Danie, and his wife, Lesca (who is in charge of marketing and export sales) run one of the region's most quality-orientated estates, specialising in growing Chardonnay. The juicy Bon Vallon Chardonnay is completely unwooded and has bold, balanced citrusy fruit having been matured on fine lees. Their flagship wine is the Bateleur Chardonnay, which is a barrel-selection, made from grapes grown from specific parcels and soils, giving it a terrific complexity and depth and making it one of South Africa's best.

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Excelsior Estate, ASHTON, ROBERTSON

The de Wet family are synonymous with Robertson and Stephen and Freddy are a branch of the family that are based in the rural Ashton end of the Breede River. Stephen is an incredibly friendly, erudite 'wine man' who has always put his belief in the export market and has a most unusual philosophy of concentrating on quality but also producing large quantities of wine which enables Excelsior Estate to offer its wines at a highly competitive price. We have always been extremely impressed with the de Wet's unwooded Sauvignon Blanc which has become one of South Africa's best value white wines. Wine-maker, Jaco Marais, has achieved a wonderful combination of tropical tones and aromatic 'cool climate' crispness. It is super-clean, herbaceous with a racy acidity and bold, up-front fruit. The remarkably soft Cabernet-Sauvignon is extremely deep-flavoured with overtones of minty cassis and cedarwood and a striking ripeness. It has won many friends over the past year as we are sure will the sensational Paddock Edge Shiraz which is one of our recent 'star' finds. It is a substantial wine with masses of spice, chocolate and plums with just a hint of new oak as it was aged in 80% American wood.

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Van Loveren Estate, KLAASVOOGDS, ROBERTSON

This is a sizeable 220 hectare estate situated on the banks of the Breede River near the town of Robertson. Bussel and Philip Retief make a wide range of excellent value wines at this riverside estate which has been in their family since the turn of the century. They have recently installed brand new vinification facilities giving them a total crush facility of over 3000 tons. The vineyards, situated on soil with a very high limestone and chalk content, are irrigated for six months a year.

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South Africa - continued


Rietvallei Estate, ASHTON, ROBERTSON NEW

Johnny Burger's Ritevallei Estate came out of a 35 year distribution agreement with the Bergkelder in 2002 and they are now free to distribute their excellent wines themselves. The newly launched Wild Rush Cape Red and White have received immediate acclaim. The Cape Red is made from 65% Tinta Barocca (planted in 1985 in Klein Karoo) and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon grown on their Klippiesdal vineyard. On the nose there is plenty of red-berry fruit which comes through on the palate with a further toasty spiciness. The Cape White is made from 43% Colombar, 36% Chenin Blanc and 21% Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay and has a floral nose and honeyed, guava fruit on the palate with a fresh, mouth-tingling zesty finish.

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Tulbagh Winery, TULBAGH

Michael Krone, the wine-maker that took the Tulbagh Winery to new heights in the past couple of years has left to run the local hardware store in Ceres. This is really something of a shame as he is a delightful chap who cooks a mean 'snoek' on the 'braai' but was an even better wine-maker who raised quality levels enormously at this innovative cooperative. However, the new general manager, the dynamic Marius Burger (ex. of Franschoek Cellars) has continued the good work and has appointed ex-Nelson's Creek wine-maker, Carl Allen, to take Tulbagh on to even greater heights.

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Klein Constantia, CONSTANTIA

With Lowell Jooste now running this hauntingly beautiful estate, set amongst verdant hillsides and pastures, the future of historic Klein Constantia is assured. As we write this list, news that wine-maker Ross Gower has left, after nearly twenty years at 'KC', to start is own venture, was not wholly unexpected. We await with interest to hear who is to be appointed his successor. The Sauvignon Blanc has long been a Southern Hemisphere pace-setter with its unwooded, ultra-ripe and capsicum and asparagus fruit. Often ignored, the Chardonnay, aged in 500 litre oak casks to reduce the oak dominance, has a deliciously rich, integrated oak-fruit, lime-fresh attack and a very long finish.

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Klippenkop (Robertson Winery) - WESTERN CAPE

Established in 1941, Robertson Winery is recognised today as one of South Africa's leading cellars. The fertile Robertson Valley with its variety of meso-climates and soil conditions create a wide spectrum of terroirs, allowing the estate to produce an exciting diversity of wine styles. Klippenkop is an export label of the Robertson Winery situated in the Cape Winelands.

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Beyerskloof - STELLENBOSCH

Beyerskloof cellarmaster and part-owner, Beyers Truter made his reputation as a winemaker at Kanonkop Estate in the 1980s. But he wanted an opportunity to spread his wings and fly solo. He wanted to work in oak to prove that South Africa has the fruit that can take 100% new oak and produce wines to compare with the French First Growths. Three others shared Beyers' vision and had faith in his ability to bring that vision into reality. They explored the Cape Winelands for a suitable property, and found a perfectly situated farm in the Koelenhof area of Stellenbosch. The farm was called Nooitgedacht, and had belonged to the Beyers family for five generations until Jan Andries Beyers sold it in 1895. Beyers Truter is a direct descendant (on his mother's side) of Jan Marthinus Beyers who owned the farm from 1849, so he became the sixth generation to farm this particular land. The name of the new venture wasn't hard to decide on - Beyerskloof. (A kloof is a wooded ravine or valley.)

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Fairview - PAARL

Records show that the first wine was made on Fairview in 1699. Fairview passed through numerous owners until 1937 when Charles Back, an immigrant from Lithuania bought the estate. The farm already had a reputation for its wines, which in those days were mostly fortified styles. Local anecdote refers to a doctor prescribing teaspoonfuls of Fairview wines to ailing children. Charles Back passed away in 1955 and the running of the farm was taken over by his son Cyril who replanted the whole farm. Cyril introduced milking goats in 1980, which led to the development of cheese production at Fairview. In 1978 his son, Charles, joined Fairview after completing a winemaking degree and a practical spell at another cellar. Charles is responsible for the building of Fairview's famous goat tower, which was completed despite the initial reservations of his father. When Cyril passed away in 1995, Charles assumed full responsibility of Fairview. The policies and initiatives started by Cyril Back continue to be evolved by Charles, ensuring that Fairview is planted with grape varieties suited to its terroir such as Shiraz, Viognier and Pinotage.

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Kamsberg - MALMESBURY

The history of Swartland Winery dates back to 1948 when the Swartland Co-operative was founded by 15 member farmers in the Swartland region which got its name from Jan van Riebeeck's description of the land on seeing the indigenous vegetation, 'renosterbos', appear black in colour. Today Swartland Winery is one of the top 10 co-operative cellars in South Africa, producing approximately 23 000 tons of grapes per annum. And the members' farms extend for a 22 km radius in the hills surrounding Malmesbury, covering roughly 3,200 hectares.

Once harvesting is complete, the member farmers deliver their produce to the Winery, where it is tested, graded and separated into cultivars in large receiving bins. From here they are destalked and then undergo drainage and purification before the juices are transferred to fermentation tanks where appropriate yeast strains are added. The must in the tanks is tested regularly and once fermentation has reached the correct levels, the process is stopped. Selected cultivars are then transferred to wooden vats for maturation. This all happens in Swartland Winery's cellar which is being upgraded at present.

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Horse Mountain Vineyards - VOOR-PAARDEBERG

In 1701 it was noted that approximately 300 wilde paarden (wild zebra), were sighted near Paarl where they freely roamed the countryside known today as Paardeberg (Horse Mountain). It is in this spirit that Horse Mountain named their wine after the place where the wild horses once roamed free. These wild zebra (which are more an interbreeding between horses and zebras) were called Quaggas and today the winery is part of a project which hopes to reintroduce this breed to the Paarl region.The Pinotage fruit came from single block of six-year-old vines planted in rich red, well-drained Swartland/Glenrosa soil types on Far Horizons Wine Estate in Paarl about 50km north of Cape Town. The eight-hectare, trellised and drip-irrigated vineyard is on a cool, southeast-facing slope of the Voor-Paardeberg mountain, a newly demarcated ward within the Paarl region. Made for Horse Mountain Wines by winemaker Charles Stassen, the wine underwent malolactic fermentation in Toneleria Nacional French oak and was then left for a further 9 months in the oak.

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Uitkyk - STELLENBOSCH

The Uitkyk (pronounced 'ate cake') estate is situated just outside Stellenbosch on an elevated plateau, giving magnificent views over the surrounding areas of False Bay, Table Bay and the Cape Penninsula. It's fitting, therefore, that Uitkyk should translate as "Lookout." The farm was established in 1712 with vines being planted in 1929 when a Prussian immigrant acquired the land and began developing vineyards on the upper slopes.
Today, wine making is overseen by Estelle Lourens who worked at Stellenzicht, Neethlingshof and various wineries in Australia and Sonoma before joining Uitkyk.

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2014 CPW
Christopher Piper Wines Ltd. will not sell to anyone under the UK legal drinking age of 18 years. To purchase products on the site you must be eighteen years of age or more.
You must ensure that the details provided by you on ordering or at any time are correct and complete.

Registered Company 1509601 Christopher Piper Wines Ltd, 1 Silver Street, Ottery St Mary, Devon, EX11 1DB. All rights reserved. You must be 18 or over to order.