Skerpioen is quite a place: a wind-swept, seashore vineyard with sand and limestone soils that makes one of the Cape’s most distinctive whites. Produced from co-planted Chenin and Palomino, it’s wonderfully yeasty, pithy and saline with mouth-watering freshness and notes of kelp and fresh bread. 96 points, Tim Atkin MW, South Africa Special Report 2020
Named after the abundant native Scorpions that make their home here, Skerpioen is an unirrigated, 2.4-hectare, 80-plus-year-old vineyard of half Palomino and half Chenin Blanc just two kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean. The soils here are very chalky, a type of soil that Sadie likens to the white albarizas of Andalucía. Fitting then that the vines here are 50% Palomino. This is also one of the coolest parts of the Swartland, yet also a very dry location (average rainfall of around 300mm per year), which naturally restricts the yields and concentrates the fruit, magnifying the vineyards’ characteristic saline intensity. This parcel produces an average, tiny yield of 24 hl/ha. The grapes are picked and pressed together and naturally co-ferment in old wooden casks. The result is a stunning and complex white that is completely unique.