We are very excited to welcome husband-and-wife team Chris and Suzaan Alheit, of Alheit Vineyards, to the Great Domaines family of producers in Gauteng. Chris and Suzaan, over a short period of time and despite their young age, have attracted celebrity-like status both on home soil and abroad, and it all comes down to a collection of white wines that now sit alongside the Cape’s very best. A big part of the success of Alheit Vineyards is that classic example of talented youth having gotten their hands dirty at various wine estates around the world and bringing it back home. Their hands-on experience during harvests overseas and their admiration for the finest European wines have inspired them to create “very South African wine”.
The Alheits share a similar philosophy to one which is central to most of the producers in our Great Domaines portfolio: a focus on terroir. More than 80% of Chris and Suzaan’s attention is dedicated to the health of the vineyards; farming in tandem with nature to encourage healthy soils. They are fortunate to work with the most extraordinary old, dry-farmed bush-vine vineyards in the Cape. Most of the vineyards are 30 to 40-years-old (if not older) and truly represent the heritage of the Cape.
“Our goals are simple. We want to make wines with a clear sense of Cape identity. We want to show that the Cape’s vinous heritage is worth celebrating and protecting. We love old vineyards. We love dry farming. We love bush vines. We think that ‘ordinary grapes’ are in fact wonderful. We believe that great things are possible here in the Cape, and that we are now just scratching the surface of what can be done.”
Chris and Suzaan Alheit
“Cartology. Everything from the philosophical, terroir-driven winemaker to the vines to the profound wine and even the packaging, attest to the pinnacles that can be reached.”
Pictured above, from right to left:
Cartology | W.O. Western Cape | 90% Chenin Blanc, 10% Sémillon
Broom Ridge | W.O. Swartland (Paardeberg) | 100% Chenin Blanc
Nautical Dawn | W.O. Stellenbosch | 100% Chenin Blanc
Huilkrans | W.O. Citrusdal Mountain | 100% Chenin Blanc
Magnetic North | W.O. Citrusdal Mountain | 100% Chenin Blanc
Hemelrand Vine Garden | W.O. Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge | estate white wine blend
Lost & Found | W.O. Breedekloof | 100% Hanepoot
“We are extremely excited to be working with Chris and Suzaan, a conversation which started many years ago. This relationship ticks all the necessary boxes for Great Domaines – wines representing the pinnacle of quality in South Africa made by fantastic people in an authentic way from special vineyard sites in the country. We look forward to a long, wine-fuelled future together!”
Derek Kilpin | General Manager & Founding Partner at GD
The Great Domaines team.