From his Hemelrand cellar in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley above Hermanus, Chris Alheit continues to produce a stand-out – and growing – range of wines from parcels of cherished and nurtured old vineyards.
Chris and Suzaan Alheit both trained as winemakers and began their exciting winemaking venture together. Suzaan is taking a natural break to allow more time for their young children but remains Chris's most committed critic and sounding board.
Their first wine, Cartology, achieved international acclaim in its maiden vintage, including five stars in the influential Platter's Guide to South African wines. Its back label reads: ‘Chenin blanc and Semillon have been planted at the Cape since 1656. They are truly traditional Cape varieties. This wine could come from nowhere else. Cartology is made from rare and extraordinary parcels of mature, low-yielding bushvines. These vineyards lie between 320 and 540 meters above sea level. They are scattered across the varied and marvelous lands of the Western Cape. We take great care to vinify these parcels naturally and respectfully, letting them speak for themselves. Here is the Cape seen through the lens of her old bushvines. A tribute to those who went off in search of treasure, and found diamonds in the rough.’
Tiny quantities of additional wines have been made since – Radio Lazarus and Magnetic North, with most recently Arrow Heart Semillon – and there is plenty more fascinating stuff to come from this young but influential cellar.