Stellenbosch Hills is a wine co-op that belongs to 16 members, all of whom supply the grapes. Long known for its very user-friendly Polkadraai label which stands out so nicely on any bottle store shelf with its jolly polka dot tops, they are making some excellent wines under their own label as well. Cellar master PG Slabbert has been there since 1997 overseeing the rapid growth of the company with a great team to help it all along.
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Young James Ochse joined in September 2016 and is making sure the company can be proud of what he is doing. James has worked in New Zealand and in Napa, California and brings this international experience to bear in his wines. He says, “Starting the journey out in the vineyard, accompanying the grapes to the cellar and finding balance between classic principles and current influences are my focus.”
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1707 Reserve White
The 1707 Reserve White is a blend of 70% Chardonnay, with Semillon and Viognier making up the rest. It’s a superb and masterful blend packed with summer flavours of stone fruit which is fresh and crisp in the mouth. Some oak notes are apparent, but it doesn’t interfere with the fruit. It’ll make a perfect pairing for a serving of fresh sushi and flash-fried prawns. It’s an absolute bargain at R100 from the cellar.
The sauvignon blanc is crisp, alive and rearing to go. Serve this delicious wine with a paella or allow it to accompany a light pasta dish with a cream base. For R60, this is a well priced bottle of wine. Keep the bottle cool, but do NOT add ice. I’ve seen some restaurants committing such an offence – how can one do that?
Deep, dark and mysterious – this is the perfect match for the Cab Sav lovers of something special. The 16-month hiatus supports the luscious fruit perfectly and makes this wine eminently quaffable. It’s another reasonably priced wine at R74 a bottle.
Get there and try some of these excellent wines in situ – a great experience.
021 881 3828/9
Words Greg Landman
A journalist by trade, features writer on occasion and now the digital editor of SA Country Life. The first chance she gets, Leigh will tell you about a podcast she was recently listening to and how you simply have to make the move from radio. In a previous life, she once taught English on Jeju which left her with an insatiable craving for kimchi.