To produce the Sauvignon Blanc Iona each of the 9 blocks are harvested and vinified separately. 10% skin contact for between 8-12 hours. After gentle pressing, the must was settled, maintaining a temperature of 6-8°C. Fermentation occurred at 14-16°C, using different commercial yeast strains particularly suited to Sauvignon Blanc. The wine was kept on the gross lees for 5 months and stirred regularly to enhance the richness of the mid-palate. The 4% Sémillon component was fermented naturally in 2nd and 3rd fill 500L French oak barrels to enhance the mid palate weight and to add complexity to the wine. A selection of different Sauvignon Blanc vineyard sites were naturally fermented in 500L French oak barrels. The barrel fermentation component made up 4% of the final blend.
A combination of gravel bed, Sandstone and silica soils quartz soils with underlying clay support the vines which were planted between 1997 and 2012. The aim is for elegance, balance and to express the unique terroir of the Elgin Highlands. Grapes were hand-picked into crates early in the morning to ensure that the grapes stayed cool.
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.