Thistle & Weed Brandnetel Chenin Blanc


The brandnetel (Urtica dioica ) – or stinging nettle – is steeped in dualities: both fierce and soft; painful and restorative; tenacious yet humble. This often-overlooked weed brings magic to fairytales, protection in folklore and vitality to soils. Inspired by these dualities, this unique wine, made from Chenin Blanc vines perched on the slopes overlooking Stellenbosch, serves as a reminder that magic is woven into every life from the soil to the glass.

The grapes were sourced from a vineyard located on the foothills of the Simonsberg Mountain in Stellenbosch, soils are granite based and display a high level of weathering. The vineyard was planted in 1980 at 1,000 feet altitude, originally destined as a rootstock trial and contains no less than 32 rootstocks, within its modest .75 acre plot. The grapes were handpicked, delicately whole-bunch pressed and naturally fermented. Only the free run juice was fermented in third-pass French oak barrels. The lees was stirred for the first month, after which the wine was allowed to mature on the lees for 10 months prior to bottling, unfined and unfiltered.

“Originally planted as a rootstock trial at Nietvoorbij, Brandnetel still uses all 33 of them in its 0.3 hectares, with corresponding differences in vigour, berry size and skin thickness. Dense, perfumed and ocean-facing, this is a wonderfully well-balanced, nuanced Chenin Blanc with notes of fresh herbs, citrus peel and beeswax and an engagingly salty finish. 2023-29.”
– Tim Atkin, 95 points


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