Journey’s End Vineyards (situated on the mountain slopes above Sir Lowry’s Pass Village near Somerset West), one of South Africa’s most sustainable and experimental wineries, is revamping its range of wines to give clear differentiation between its three series – Tales, V and Precision – while maintaining a consistent theme across the family of wines.
JOURNEY’S END TALES SERIES
The new look Tales Series will be the first wines to be released. The new labels on these four wines are designed to tell the story behind each wine:
- Weather Station Sauvignon Blanc is named after the ‘Weerstasie Kloon’ (Weather Station clone) in Stellenbosch where the SB11 Sauvignon Blanc clone was first propagated in the 1920s before a resurgence in the late 1970s.
- Haystack Chardonnay is named after the age-old practice of planting wheat between the rows of vines, which encourages all the aphids and flies to land on the crop instead of the vines. The team also has a pair of eagle owls on the farm who are the pest controllers at Journey’s End, keeping the vineyards free of rodents. This wine pays homage to the environment.
- The Huntsman – Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Viognier is named after the original kennels the Gabb family found on their farm dating back to 1822, and where the Journey’s End winery now stands.
- Pastor’s Blend – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc pays homage to the Reverend from the local village of Sir Lowry’s Pass who regularly delivers Sunday communion at the foot of the Journey’s End vineyard. Journey’s End has embarked on a number of community support and development programmes with the local pastors including pensioners lunches and a contribution to a new village sports hall.
All four of the Tales Series wines will be available nationally retailing between R89 and R99 at selected retail outlets and wine merchants.
JOURNEY’S END V SERIES AND PRECISION SERIES
The Tales Series will be followed by the new-look V Series and Precision Series later in the year:
- V Series (five varietal wines – Chardonnay, Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc) which will be available in and around Cape Town, retailing between R178 and R190.
- Precision Series (three top tier wines – Destination Chardonnay, The Griffin (Syrah), Cape Doctor (Cabernet Sauvignon) which will retail nationally between R270 and R300.
Comments Rollo Gabb, Managing Director, Journey’s End, “In addition to the new branding, we have also been very busy in the vineyard and winery focusing on environmental changes and new innovations. Journey’s End is the second South African vineyard to become solar-powered.
“We farm sustainably or biodynamically across all our vineyards. Siting our vineyards in an area which benefits from the Cape Doctor winds has been a great help, as it blows away fungal problems naturally thus meaning the need for spraying is very minimal. And we love the area’s wildlife, recently setting aside 10ha to re-introduce indigenous wildlife and plant life species. Journey’s End became Fairtrade certified in the early parts of 2017 – a recognition that we are hugely proud of and one that we have worked incredibly hard to achieve.
“In the winery, we have recently introduced Amphora Pots and a concrete egg to give a different structure and mouthfeel to some of our wines. We are also employing innovative methods with wasted grape stalks, which are mixed with chicken manure, hay and lime to form a fermented compost. This emulsion is then used on new vineyard plantings and has enabled our team to plant one of the highest blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Stellenbosch wine appellation.”
In 1995, the Gabb family purchased Journey’s End, a picturesque wine farm surrounded by 20 hectares of vines, situated on the mountain slopes above Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, near Somerset West, in the Helderberg basin.
The Gabb family (originally from Shropshire, UK) recognised the uniqueness of this beautiful farm with its magnificent views but, most significantly, its proven excellent terroir. Situated on the South-west facing slopes of the famous Schaapenberg Hills (neighbours are top wine estates Vergelegen and Morgenster), the vineyards have excellent soils and the cool South-easterly summer winds extend the ripening season of the vines and keep them dry and free of most insects.
The initial Journey’s End investment was made by Roger Gabb, who, at that time, was Founder and Managing Director of Western Wines. Following the sale of Western Wines to Constellation brands in 2006, the family turned their focus to their estate, Journey’s End. Upon taking the helm in 2007, Roger’s son Rollo has since invested further into the estate through vineyard plantings and purchases including the neighbouring Mount Rozier Estate and the building of a state-of-the-art 350-ton crush winery and tasting centre.
The very modern cellar provides cellar master Leon Esterhuizen and winemaker Mike Dawson with all they need to produce the highest-quality wines. The family’s philosophy is one of minimum intervention, aiming to create top-quality, single-vineyard and appellation wines that intricately integrate the tension between remaining true to the terroir, and finding their own unique expression of it.
The stylish tasting centre, glassed on three sides, overlooks the barrel cellar and embraces the untrammelled beauty of the panoramic vista. The décor is elegantly minimalist and chic, and the centre spills out onto a spacious terrace, offering spectacular views of mountains, vineyards and False Bay, all the way across to Cape Point.
VISIT JOURNEY’S END VINEYARDS
- Tasting, sales, cheese platters and snacks by appointment: Monday Friday: 10h00 – 17h00
- BYO picnic
- Walks, hikes, MTB and horse-riding
Journey’s End Vineyards
Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West 7130
Tel: 021 858 1929
Information and images supplied