Crushed & Cured

Domaine des Dieux, Methode Cap Classique, Brut, Claudia, 2017


From 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, with four years on its lees and another under cork, it stands comparison with plenty of far more expensive vintage Champagnes: yeasty, creamy and with great breadth on the palate.

Domaine des Dieux is a small estate just above Ataraxia at the very top of the valley in the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge zone. The farm, with vineyards on the slopes of the Babylon's Toren mountain, was bought in 2002, with an initial focus on making the first sparkling wines in Hemel-en-Aarde, still Chardonnay and Pinot Noir followed. Des Dieux have an interesting model: they have 20 hectares of unirrigated vines but no cellar (and no electricity on site either!). Winemaking of each of the wines is overseen by a specialist winemaker in local cellars. 

The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, which translates as Heaven on Earth, rises prettily from just west of Hermanus. Plantings at the top of the valley - higher, drier, with warmer days but cooler nights, enjoying naturally low pH soils, and moderate temperatures, cooled by winds from the ocean, this really is a sweet spot in the Cape.

Country: South Africa 

Region: Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge

Vintage: 2017

Grape Variety: Chardonnay (80%), Pinot Noir (20%)

ABV: 11%

Size: 750ml 

Producer: Domaine des Dieux