To produce the Extreme Vineyard Red Bonfire Hill some varieties are vinified separately, others co-fermented. Harvested at 24.5oB. Fermentation in stainless steel tank, with a cold soak for 2 days, the fermentation lasted 4 to 5 days at 25°C. Malolactic fermentation and some aging in stainless steel tanks, the rest in oak. Cinsaut is unoaked and Pinotage and Shiraz was aged in 70% French and 30% American oak.
Vines are grown on some “extreme” vineyards”: The Drift Estate in Overberg Highlands, where it is very cold in Winter and cool in Summer, vineyards are perched perilously on the slopes of Akkedisberg, pounded by wind. Slow growing and low yield. The Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards, where it is very hot and arid.
The Bonfire Hill winemaker Trizanne Barnard has years of international winemaking experience. Her passion lies in the Western Cape, making wines sourced from the most extreme vineyards and blending them to perfection. Trizanne seeks out grapes from wind-ravaged vineyards in Elim, the old expanses of the Overberg Highlands, from dryland bush vines in the warm Swartland and from the high slopes of the Piekernierskloof. They then all come together under Trizanne’s watchful eye to create wines full of flavour, tannin and texture. The unusual philosophy behind the Bonfire Hill range of wines is to blend different varieties from around the Bonfire Hill vineyards, drawing on very special, extreme parcels of vines. They put a great deal of thought into what varieties they work with and which vineyard blocks to use. Each with different soil types and climates, their belief is that they can craft more complex, intriguing wine by using them as their “building blocks”. This results in the “whole” always being so much more than the “sum of its parts”. Almost always a wild fermentation, with some varieties fermented separately and others co-fermented. Hand plunging, whole bunch pressing for whites, whole bunch fermentation for reds, oak aging in 225l Oak, mostly old French but some new oak.