The just-released De Wetshof Limestone Hill, one of South Africa’s most popular unwooded Chardonnays, emphasises the reputation 2022 is garnering for being a top vintage for white wines in the Cape, especially Chardonnay.

Johann De Wet

According to Johann de Wet, CEO of De Wetshof Estate in Robertson, the fact that this year’s harvest was characterised by cool, mild conditions is well reported. But with the wines now bottled and in the market, the magnificent quality of the season’s offering is coming to the fore.

At a superb lunch at Cape Town’s magnificent Silo Hotel, the new vintage was unveiled to an appreciative audience.  The other impressive De Wetshof Chardonnays were also served to spoil us.

Elegant Silo


De Wet says cooler, slower ripening allows for balanced chemistries in the grapes – should one choose to look at the academic side of things. “What is evident for all is the bright, crunchy freshness we saw in the harvested grapes as they arrived at the cellar, as well as this zesty life-affirming energy now evident in the latest release of our Limestone Hill,” he says.

What a setting!

The grapes for Limestone Hill are picked in the coolness of morning, with the emphasis on capturing the natural complexities of the Chardonnay grape immediately for the making of this un-wooded wine. After de-stemming, pressing and overnight settling, the juice is racked-off from the sediment and pumped into stainless steel tanks. After fermentation, the wine is left on the lees under controlled temperatures. Weekly stirring of the lees ensures maximum flavours are released into the wine until it is ready for bottling.

Everybody needs a little light

The American critic Robert Parker describes the wine as such: “The Limestone Hill Chardonnay never sees oak, and offers impeccably pure, refreshing apple, peach and lemon fruit, a lovely leessy richness of texture, and a nutty, chalky, fruit-filled finish of imposing length. Understated and less tropical than some of the better un-oaked Australian Chardonnays, this wine possesses far better balance and sheer drink-ability – not to mention more finesse – than 99% of the world’s Chardonnay I have experienced at its price.”

Fabulous dessert trolley

The wine is superb with oysters, cream-based pasta dishes and light curries, as well as roast pork and veal dishes.

Recommended retail price: R110.