The Tea Leaf
Tea Leaf hails from the uniqueness of the vineyards where the grapes from these wines grow; among South Africa's native rooibos (red tea) plants that grow wild among vines, protected from removal and yet to be successfully cultivated anywhere else in the world. In the infancy of winemaking, the juice from these grapes are almost grey in color, with hints of green-tea aromas that waft around the cellar as the grapes are crushed and pumped into the tank. Tea Leaf is an English rhyming slang for "thief", linked to the grapes which are "stolen" off in the cool twilight hours and delivered to the winery where the delightful concoction is made.
Simply cooked fish dishes, scallops, salt and pepper squid or fishcakes, light seafood pastas, risotto, rich salads and sushi.
A complex sandy stone fruit nose with notes of crushed granite, slightly saline and wait… is that rooibos I can smell?! The palate has firm, high-key fruit, a broad texture and quiet persistence that persists and persists. Ultimately this is a deeply satisfying wine made from a blend of Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc and Palomino grapes, grown on ancient vines in Piekenierskloof. This region allows the genuinely unique terroir feel and character to shine through.
Vineyards high above the valley floor on the Western Cape escarpment are home to old blocks of Chenin, Palomino and younger Grenache Blanc vines. In all these blocks, the indigenous rooibos tea plant grows wild. Grapes are harvested in the early hours and then a further selection is made by hand at the winery to select the best fruit. The wine is naturally fermented in old wooden barrels and steel, portions of which take up to ten months to complete. Finally, the wine is gently racked and bottled in South Africa.