Creating Wines of Distinction

Creation: A Sense of Place

Creation holds the concept of ‘resonance’ near and dear as one of its four core values. What originates in the vineyard resonates in the glass. Our ultimate mission at Creation is to reflect the heart and soul of our terroir in our wines. What does terroir mean? Here at Creation, we consider terroir to be the biome and the cultivar, not to mention the hands that tend the vines and later the wines.

Creation is nestled in the valley of the Babylonstoren Mountain, surrounded by the folded and down-faulted mountains of the Table Mountain quartzites, and younger clay-rich Bokkeveld shales and mudstones, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. Originally forming part of the supercontinent Gondwanaland, millions of years of weathering and deposition of clay and mineral-rich soil profiles have created the 5-star formula for our soils. This is the perfect geological and cool-climate alchemy to create wines of distinction.

The predominant Bokkeveld shales and blending in combination with Table Mountain sandstone provide ideal soil for nutrient retention for various productive cultivars such as Chardonnay. In strong contrast, those areas underlain by pure Bokkeveld-derived clay and mineral-rich soils are key to the success of Creation’s exceptional Pinot Noir blocks. These clay-rich soils retain the perfect balance of water and nutrient capacity to grow and sustain these award-winning Pinot Noir vineyards.

Another important influence on the Creation terroir is the climate. The estate’s (elevation) and close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the modifying prevailing SE and SW winds and an average mean temperature of 11° to 14° C all play key roles in the unique grape and wine production. The temperature range ensures an overall cool climate experienced during the growth period where average daytime temperatures are 22° to 26° C with a cool night index of 12° C less than midday. The area is regarded as a global viticultural Cool-Climate area on the De Villiers Scale.

Creation Growing Degrees Days

Creation Koppen Climate Zones

Creation Diurnal Temperature

The average winter rainfall of between 510 mm and 720 mm together with prevailing SE and SW winds and a daily vortex from the Atlantic Ocean mean that there is little risk of hail or frost. In winter, these conditions are beneficial for the dormancy of the vines and act as a natural sanitiser.

It is also significant to note that we only planted virus-free vines and wish to maintain this status. The aim is to plant to grow old. Healthy vines naturally produce quality fruit that improves with vineyard age, which is what you, the discerning wine lover, experience in the glass. Creation is a source for clean virus-free vine material used for new plantings, which is one aspect vital for the sustainability of our industry.

We are currently working on projects with Stellenbosch University on the Climavin project and how climate influences grapevine physiology, phenology, yield, fruit and wine quality. We are also working with the Gen-Z project at Vititec on new clone demo plantings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to establish differences in phenology, ripening and yield. While we investigate sustainability concerning the environment and climate change, we must balance that with economic and social sustainability.

Environmental sustainability includes biodiversity, water footprint, chemical use and soil health. Economic sustainability is about yield, the net farm income and input costs. Social sustainability concerns labour legislation, productivity and community welfare. We need to reconcile these areas to create a balance and build a truly sustainable future for the South African Wine Industry within the prevailing local context. We at Creation work alongside leading scientists and economists with the support of buyers, consumers locally and internationally, our team and community to create a more sustainable future. Collaboration and co-creation fuel this innovation.

Carolyn Martin

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