Creating Wines of Distinction

Creation Chardonnay: Celebrating Heaven and Earth

Imagine a dramatic amphitheatre of undulating hills and valleys overlooked by a towering mountain peak, the glittering waters of the Atlantic only a few kilometres away.  Welcome to Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, where a lofty altitude combines with ancient soils and unique climatic conditions to enable the production of healthy, well-balanced grapes.

Creation is situated at the top end of Hemel-en-Aarde, on the slopes of Babylonstoren Mountain, which is 63 m higher than Table Mountain. The elevation varies from about 240 to 398 m above sea level with the mountain at about 1 149 m. Our ward is home to the highest vineyards in the Hemel-en-Aarde region. The significance of this is that for every 100 m one ascends above sea level, the average ambient temperature drops by 0.6° C.  This is called the ‘lapse rate’ – an influence on the cooler growing conditions on the Ridge.

When it comes to white wine, Chardonnay is Cellarmaster Jean-Claude (JC) Martin’s first love. “There are many reasons for this, but if I have to sum it up: Chardonnay has charisma – such a compelling and charming presence! Among the reasons Chardonnay does so well at Creation are our soils. With Chardonnay one recognises the architecture of the geology in the wine. Striking aspects of our terroir are the 550-million-year-old seams of quartz and 450-million-year-old decomposed Bokkeveld shale.”

Chardonnay is an early budding variety and at Creation it enjoys an even and slow growing season. Short spells of intense heat can lead to excessive sugar accumulation; however the cooling influences of the Atlantic Ocean delay ripening here by up to two weeks compared to nearby areas. The vineyards are planted within 7.5 to 10 km from the ocean and during the growth period a glorious thermal vortex of ocean mists rises along the Ridge and up the mountain, creating a giant fan of whirling clouds. This contributes to a cool average temperature and a night index 12° C lower than at midday, allowing for the development of intense flavour profiles.

While establishing his career in Switzerland, JC honed his skills on Chardonnay, constantly benchmarking his wines with those from nearby Burgundy. When in 2003 he established our first vines at Creation, it was the first virus-free mother block to be planted in South Africa post-1994. For Chardonnay, he selected Burgundian clones 95 and 96 which yield small bunches with good natural acidity.

There are presently four award-winning Chardonnays in the Creation portfolio:

Creation the Art of Chardonnay: Single-site specific and barrel selection – individually numbered bottles. Seams of quartz sparkle in this vineyard; a wine with steely tension, yet elegantly refined.

Creation Reserve Chardonnay: A single-vineyard wine. Vibrant grapefruit and fragrant apple with a hint of honey and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Creation Glenn’s Chardonnay: Glenn Martin is the fourth generation winemaker in the Martin and Finlayson families. This natural ferment wine was made from specially selected, clone 96 Chardonnay grapes.

Creation Chardonnay: Glorious layers of sun-kissed pear and peach enhanced by fresh minerality and hints of spice.

For more comprehensive information on these wines, please click here.

Share Button

0 Comments

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

*
*
*

Creation on Facebook

Creation Shop

Blog

News & Media

Archives

Search