The Chenin Blanc “Steen Op Hout” Mulderbosch vinification was kept simple, a proportion was barrel fermented in 1,500 litre French oak foudres and a selection of neutral 500 litre oak with natural yeasts, followed by malolactic fermentation. The Chenin Blanc “Steen Op Hout” Mulderbosch remaining proportion of fruit was fermented with a selected neutral yeast in stainless steel, this portion did not undergo malolactic fermentation to retain the crisp natural acidity. 40% of the blend was matured in large, neutral oak barrels and foudres for six months.
There are two Chenin Blanc vineyards at Mulderbosch: one a trellised vineyard with some modifications to the top fruiting wires which expose the canopy to sunlight, and the other a dryland farmed bush vine block. The balance of our fruit for the ‘Steen op Hout’ blend is sourced from vineyards in Stellenbosch, mostly on soils derived from decomposed granite, and with high gravelly clay content. The vineyards vary in age from five years old to 35 years old. Significantly, they are all within a range two to eight miles from the Atlantic Ocean at False Bay, and as such are strongly influenced by a maritime climate, which plays a crucial role in the ultimate wine’s freshness and poise.
Founded in 1989, multi-award winning Mulderbosch Vineyards is one of South Africa’s foremost wine producers. As advocates to the Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) code, they manage their vineyards limiting the use of herbicides, fungicides and pesticides. They use a restrained approach in the cellar to produce distinctive and characterful wines that represent the Stellenbosch terroir. Chenin Blanc is the Cape’s signature variety and they have the largest planting of this variety in the world. In 1996, Mulderbosch was one of the very first producers in the Cape to ferment Chenin Blanc in barriques. The resultant wine garnered an avid following and Mulderbosch has since become synonymous with the variety.