The grapes to produce the Chardonnay Kloof Iona were hand-picked and spent overnight in a cold room, before being whole bunch pressed. No settling enzymes were used, resulting in juice containing more solids. This wine was 100% wild fermented in a selection of 300L French oak barrels (38% new, the rest in 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill barrels). The wine remained on the lees for a total of 12 months without battonage and with 7% malolactic fermentation to add richness and texture. Thereafter, the wine was racked and blended. The wine was fined and stabilised naturally for a period of 3 months before bottling.
The grapes were selected from the Kloof vineyard, on a north facing slope with an East-West row direction. Vines werer planted in 2009 on soils with large deposits of silica quartz with underlying clay. The Kloof vineyard is dry land farmed and the clones planted include CY95, CY96 and 548.
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.