Durbanville Hills The Tangram White Blend is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon made from grapes grown in the WO Durbanville. It is the flagship white wine for Durbanville Hills and is named after the Tangram, a Chinese geometrical puzzle consisting of five triangles, a square and a rhomboid, which can be arranged to make various forms and pictures to tell a story.
Durbanville Hills wines is a small collection of growers, a small co-operative really, with a centralised winery. The collective was originally formed in the late 1990s when a group of seven local grape farmers made an agreement with Distell (one of South Africa’s largest wine companies and owners of other Plaisir de Merle, Nederburg et al.) that Distell would build a new cellar to make wine their 7 farms. The Durbanville Hills cellars are located some 20 minutes from Cape Town’s city centre and overlooks Table Mountain, Table Bay and Robben Island. This is an ultramodern facility that can compare with the world’s best. The cool climate region, the best grapes and modern winemaking produce excellent quality wines.
Today there are 9 growers, whose vineyards are all located closed to the cellars. The nine member farms are Klein Roosboom, Ongegund, Hillcrest, Maastricht, Morgenster, Bloemendal and Hooggelegen. Another two producers from the farms Welbeloond and De Grendel recently joined the cellar. Vineyards in the regions date back to the late 17th century, the Klein Roosboom farm was established in 1714 for example.
The Sauvignon Blanc grapes for the Durbanville Hills The Tangram White Blend are sourced from three vineyard blocks on the southern slopes where the valley opens up towards the West Coast. The 30-year old bush vine block is situated lowest of three blocks on the slopes and also enjoys the most wind protection. The majority of the grapes were selected from this block ensuring the classical and mineral character of the wine. The are two other 15 year old trellised vineyards higher up on the hill supplied the more typical fruity aromas. At a height of 180 to 200 meters above sea they are exposed to the cool southeasterly breezes blowing in from nearby False Bay. The The Semillon block was planted in 1996 in the cool heart of the valley, where the vines are known to contribute to the fullness on the palate. Satellite technology was used to identify the premium spots in each block. Only grapes from these spots were harvested and used to make this wine.
Both the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon is handpicked by a a dedicated team to ensure gentle handling of the grapes during harvest. The grapes are picked at optimum ripeness in the early morning. They are then crushed and allowed to cold settle for 3 days, with lees stirring once a day. The clean juice was racked to a stainless steel fermentation tank and inoculated with a selected yeast strain. The first fermentation was done in tank and thereafter transferred to barrels to complete fermentation. The winemakers selected a combination of new and old French oak barrels; focusing on three sizes, namely 300 litre, 500 litre and 600 litre to mature the wine for a further 10 months to ensure a better extraction of the flavours and overall complexity. During maturation the wine was regularly stirred to add complexity to the blend. After maturation, the winemaking team spent a number of days selecting the best barrels to create the perfect blend.