de la terre Ridgeline Viognier 2015


Tasting Notes: Colour: – pale straw as a young wine. Expect slow evolution to a more golden hue with time in bottle.


Nose: – Strongly aromatic – honeysuckle, lemon-blossom, lychee, white pear, quince and a touch of cinnamon – have I forgotten anything here?  Definitively Viognier.
Palate: – a rich, full and fruity attack with a seamless transition through the mid palate and into a long, clean finish.  A nice acid seam and very slight spritz runs alongside the fruit to help balance the touch of residual sweetness. A long, clean finish.


Enjoy lightly chilled with light finger food or on its own in the sun!


Production Quantity: 874 bottles produced, estate bottled, hand-labelled, individually numbered


Winemaker’s Notes


Vineyard: Hill Country Estate
The Grapes: The fruit for our Ridgeline Viognier comes from a narrow ridge on the crown of the main Viognier terrace of Hill Country Estate vineyard.

This terrace has a richer vein of topsoil and minerals than the very steep, dense limestone pan and shallow top soil of the Reserve Viognier – as a result, it develops a more aromatic and floral fruit spectrum than the Reserve grapes – certainly a much more varietal Viognier expression

By taking fruit only from the crown of main terrace, we get the ripest and most flavour-rich fruit by avoiding areas where water has a chance to sit and feed the vine vigour.

This fruit is especially selected for its pristine quality (complete lack of botrytis), golden colour and ripe, full flavour.

Wine Style: Why a ‘Ridgeline Viognier’ for de la terre?

Our Reserve Viognier has developed as our ‘flagship’ Viognier style. It is a tight, lean, mineral, linear and notably complex style – almost chardonnay-like. Most tasters struggle to identify the variety as Viognier – which is just what we intend!

Given that Viognier is such an important variety for us (our only white varieties being Chardonnay and Viognier) we felt there was definitely a place for a top-end Viognier in a more traditional/varietal style to sit alongside our somewhat quirky Reserve.

The idea for Ridgeline was for a richer, more fruit-driven aromatic wine with a slightly broader mid-palate – but still balanced with enough acidity to keep it from being cloying and soapy.
The intention is for the palate to develop a oily/waxy texture after say 3 years in bottle.


Winemaking Notes: The key stylistic aim for the Ridgeline Viognier was to take fruit which is strongly varietal (Viognier), extract a  bit more fruit weight into the mid-palate , protect the sensitive terpene aromatics with reductive juice handling and protect the aromatic flavours with gentle (cold) fermentation and then separate the wine from yeast reasonably early after ferment.

We intentionally avoided overnight skin contact as we feel this just brings too much ‘fat’ and risk of harshness/bitterness – 3 hours was about all I was prepared to risk.


We will probably evolve (fine tune) the winemaking for this wine as we move through the next few vintages.

I feel it deserves a place in our wine range and will be a nice contrast to our more complex and controversial Reserve style.