Producer: Cape Elevation Vineyards
Cape Elevation is the new project of Mark Dendy-Young, the former owner of La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek. Mark always had a wish to make wines from more marginal vineyards, in cool, high lying areas so he has now contracted vineyards in the Elgin district amongst the Hottentots Holland mountains, to supply his grapes.
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He has also teamed up with Pinot Noir specialist Cathy Marshall. He doesn’t own vineyards as this gives him the opportunity to be flexible and to source parcels of exceptional quality. The cool climate in Elgin is very important – an area that was previously known for exceptional quality apples and stone fruit – particularly because of the slower ripening time at altitude which helps maintain grapes’ freshness and aromas. These qualities have led to a large expansion in the general vineyard area here.
Mark decides on which parcels to use through his long standing relationships with the various grape growers and hosts tastings involving the growers to improve their knowledge of the vineyards. The wines are vinified with the terroir in mind and, in the case of the Pinot Noir, the barrels are sorted according to soil type and the wine’s structure. Wines from the sandstone, shale and quartz soils are all matured separately. Mark works closely with Cathy Marshall however the wines are blended individually and kept separately. He says that her passion for Pinot Noir certainly rubs off on his style of wine!