At 420m above sea-level, set high above the picturesque Elgin Valley Andrew Gunn founded Iona. It is here overlooking the Atlantic ocean that he has secured some of the coolest vineyards in the Cape. In a country where cool climate vineyards are like gold dust, these vineyards are veritable nuggets. There is an extremely long growing season, allowing Andrew to create wines with complex flavours and a fresh, elegant style. The approach is hands off and the land is farmed according to organic and biodynamic practices with a particular focus on ensuring the health of the soils whilst pests are kept under control by the resident flock of geese that roam the vineyards. The vineyards are on a mountain plateau, surrounded by the Kogelberg Nature Reserve, and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. In a country where cool sites are precious, these vineyards are like gold dust — the grapes ripening up to two months later than other Cape vineyards and in perfect balance. Iona is South Africa’s coolest vineyard site. The vineyards are farmed according to organic and biodynamic practices with a particular focus on ensuring the health of the soils. Natural pest management is provided by the flock of geese that roam the vineyards. Given the lengths that the Gunn’s go through to produce complex, ripe, perfectly healthy grapes, it is unsurprising that the approach in the winery is orientated towards letting those grapes shine. Most ferments are allowed to start naturally and with the exception of the chardonnay (which is in barrel) the wines are made in temperature controlled stainless steel.
The wine shows cassis fruit, with exotic spice and red fruit notes. It is layered with fragrant ripe cherry and blackberry notes, with underlying spice cedarwood and white pepper characters. The palate is seamless, with elegant fine grained tannins.
The wine from the Kloof Vineyard is totally unique to South Africa. Pure fruit (soft white pear and bright limey citrus) razor sharp acidity and well-judged oak result in a wine that is precise, intricate yet layered, focussed and fine with significant ageing potential. It has a beautiful oyster shell minerality, a slight saline note, a long finish and good weight on the back palate.
Floral notes with a complex medley of tropical fruits, mingled with subtle lime and gooseberry undertones. The palate is balanced and rich, showing cut green apples with great minerality and texture. Sophie te'Blanche, a nickname given by those including our workers, who can't pronounce Sauvignon Blanc, is the inspiration behind this much loved wine, produced from grapes grown by dedicated farmers in Elgin and the Cape South Coast.
The wine shows concentrated marzipan and citrus notes, with underlying hazelnut and lime notes, which adds to layered complexity. The wine is seamless, with flavoursome and long finish.
Elegant, fresh cherry and red berry nose with undergrowth melange. The palate is pure with lovely texture and sweet cherry fruit dominates with spicy undertones. The wine is fresh and intense with real vibrancy.
Succulent black cherry aroma, bright but delicate and hints of forest floor, with underlying floral and spicy notes. On the palate, the wine is powerful, with silk-textured length.
The wine is perfumed and mineral notes of soft pear, stone fruit and bright citrus. This is a sumptuous wine whose fruit profile has both depth and breadth, as great structure that allows for significant ageing potential.