TThe brandnetel (Urtica dioica), or stinging nettle, is steeped in dualities: fierce and soft; painful and restorative. This often- overlooked weed brings protection in folklore and vitality to soils.
These Chenin Blanc vines are from a small 0.3 hectare vineyard plated in 1980, (with 32 different rootstocks for trial purposes) perched on the slopes overlooking Stellenbosch.
The wine has a greenish hue in the glass. The nose is initially rather shy with notes of freshly cut apple and orange blossoms but opens up to reveal a rich and moreish palate of citrus, quince, white peach, grapefruit and a candied lemon. The gentle oaking of this wine in third-fill barrels provides the stage for its complexity and leesy texture (giving silkiness and creaminess from stirring of the dead yeast cells in the barrel), finishing with a zippy lemon acidity; almost lingering towards salinity.
Producer Information: Thistle & Weed
Thistle and Weed is a joint venture in artisanal wine making by Stephanie Wiid (winemaker) and Etienne Terblanche (viticulturist) established in 2015. Thistle and Weed has a strong focus and passion for Chenin Blanc and seek out different parcels across the Cape. Currently producing two old vine Chenin Blancs from Stellenbosch (Brandnetel) and Paarl (Duwweltjie). Another passion of the dynamic duo lies in Portuguese varieties (after having spent substantial time in Portugal) which lead to the introduction of a Tempranillo Alicante Bouschet blend (Nastergal) into the range and the newest addition to the collection of weeds is a biodynamic Cabernet Franc (Knapsekêrel).
Their approach to winemaking is minimal intervention in the cellar with the focus on the vineyards leaving them to guide the wine gently through fermentation and into the bottle!
Our winemakers emulate the same ethos when making Thelema as is used with Sutherland. The home of these wines can be found at Thelema Mountain Vineyards in Stellenbosch as this is where they are produced and bottled.