The Road to Swartland via Vouvray

Cape Classics bridges its range of French wines and legacy South African business with its latest label—Terre Brûlée—hailing from the Swartland region. The premier importer welcomes the new flagship wine brand through its partnership with Loire Valley producer Vincent Carême. A Chenin Blanc artisan, Carême makes several different styles of the varietal and brings his expertise from his own winery in Vouvray to the vineyards of the Swartland region.

“Vincent Carême is one of our leading partners and is a major influence in France,” commented Robert Bradshaw, President and COO of Cape Classics. “His decision to produce Terre Brûlée in South Africa reflects the excitement we share for the promise of Chenin Blanc in the region. We’re thrilled to be supporting this venture, our first wine from the Swartland area, and to deepen the connection to the Loire Valley and South Africa within our portfolio.”

With a firm belief that the quality of the wine is determined in the vineyard, Vincent Carême visits his Swartland cellar twice a year: during harvest in February and bottling in November. In between these trips to South Africa, the wine is tasted and assessed regularly thanks to Carême’s South African wife Tania, as her family and friends carry samples to France when they travel from “home”.

Carême’s Swartland vineyard is made up of two Chenin Blanc blocks called Jacklesfontein that are dry farmed, unirrigated 40-year-old bush vines set on decomposed granite. Terre Brûlée, derived from this unique piece of land, is produced using the same methods of its French counterparts, with hand harvesting, whole bunch pressing, the use of only natural yeast for fermentation and an approach of minimal intervention in the cellar.  

2014 Terre Brûlée Chenin Blanc: A decadent Chenin for any occasion, this luxurious bottling offers notes of honeysuckle and citrus which are balanced by a bright, seamless acidity.

“The discovery of my spiritual home in South Africa dates back to my first harvest in the Swartland in 1997, then again with my wife, who is from the country’s vinelands,” said Vincent Carême. “Witnessing the tremendous potential of the region inspired me to return and produce a Chenin Blanc, using the same care and precision as my French wines. To have a partnership with Cape Classics that extends from my home country to my wife’s, is a testament to the passion we share for both French and South African soils and all that they can do.”

Terre Brûlée is available at an SRP of $14.99, through Cape Classics’ national distribution partners in each state.