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Rustenberg has a wine-growing history dating back to 1682, when Roelof Pasman from Meurs, near the Rhine, recognised its wine-growing potential. By 1781 some 3000 cases of wine were produced on the farm. Production doubled by the end of the century and a new cellar was built. Wine has been bottled at this cellar for an unbroken period since 1892.
In the early 1800s Rustenberg was divided by owner Jacob Eksteen and a section was given to his son-in-law, who named it Schoongezicht and sold it soon after. Rustenberg and Schoongezicht were at their peak around 1812, with beautiful homesteads and flourishing vineyards. But by mid-century, recession coupled with disease in the vines, brought bankruptcy and dispossession.
Schoongezicht was rescued in 1892 by John X Merriman (who was to become Prime Minister of the Cape), and Rustenberg by his brother-in-law Sir Jacob Barry. Together they revitalised the farms. Fruit was sent to Covent Garden; new vines were grafted onto disease-resistant American rootstock; wines were exported to England and the Continent – and even found in Siberia.
In 1941 Peter and Pamela Barlow bought Rustenberg, later acquiring Schoongezicht and reuniting the properties. Their son Simon took over the running of the farm in 1987. Simon’s son, Murray, joined in the running of the farm with his father in 2012. The Barlows have been at Rustenberg for over 75 years: the longest period any one family has owned the farm.
Rustenberg Wines is renowned for producing award-winning, internationally acclaimed wines.
Rustenberg is a well-known producer of high quality Chardonnays and the Stellenbosch Chardonnay embodies our house style.
A traditionally made, barrel fermented Chardonnay, the Rustenberg Stellenbosch Chardonnay is a combination of complexing factors from the vineyard, wild yeast and careful barrel age, aiming for balance and expression in each vintage.
Rustenberg is a well-known producer of high quality Chardonnays and the Stellenbosch Chardonnay embodies our house style. Careful tending and selection in the vineyard followed by traditional wild barrel fermentation and maturation produces a classic Chardonnay balancing the expression of fruit, freshness, full malolactic fermentation and the influence of oak.
Apricot, coconut and orange peel aromas followed by flavours of marzipan, sponge cake and citrus rounded off with carefully judged oak and balanced, fresh acidity.
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Varietal Blended: 100% Chardonnay
Soil Types: Decomposed Granite
Trellising/Pruning System: VSP (Vertical Shoot Positioned), 2 Node Spur Pruned
Irrigation Type: Minimal Drip Irrigation
Fermentation Vessel: 300 Litre Oak Barrels
Lees Aging: 10 Months
Oak Aging: 100% aged for 8 months
Malolactic Fermentation: Yes, 100%
Oak: 25% New French oak (Remainder 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill oak)
91 points - Tim Atkin MW
91 points – Decanter World Wine Awards
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