Thirst Clairette Blanche Chenin Blanc Verdelho is arefreshing, lower alcohol, naturally-made wine, with minimal intervention. We have not stripped it of any natural components and it is not fined. Why?
Thirst is a live rock concert rather than a manufactured, boyband studio album. Our aim - to express its environment, the varietals and the vintage, in the most natural way. Our simple logic is, the less you manipulate the wine, the better it is, and we therefore capture its integrity, energy and individuality.
The Chenin Blanc comes from Bush vines grown high up on an East facing slope with sandy, crunchy, decomposed granite soils. In this vineyard, there is no irrigation and the canopies are small so the fruit is exposed to the direct sunlight. The skins of the grapes are therefore phenolically ripe which add texture to this blend.
Clairette Blanche comes from old vines of unknown age. They are planted on gravelly, decomposed granite soils with almost no clay. The vines have a sprawling growth pattern trained on low, single wire trellising. The grapes are picked early to retain natural freshness for the blend.
Both the Chenin Blanc and Clairette Blanche were macerated on the skins to add depth and texture 4 days each prior to fermentation. Just as fermentation started spontaneously, the skins and juice were separated into old, neutral French oak barrels.
The Verdelho comes from trellised vines with a more upright canopy on gravel and Koffieklip soil. We whole bunch pressed the Verdelho in an old traditional wooden basket press to obtain all natural acidity. Typically, Verdelho adds a high degree of acidity to a blend such as this.
Thirst Clairette Blanche Chenin Blanc Verdelho is an unusual blend that explores how saltiness and acidity can enhance the overall freshness of a wine. Extended skin maceration before fermentation has added complexity. It has distinct minerality with lashings of green and stone fruits. Elegant but quirky.