Every vintage has significant unknowns, different rainfall and climatic changes are some of the elements that are out of our control. Even when asking Ken Forrester, Mr. Chenin, how to make the perfect Chenin Blanc he answers, “I wish I knew”. With all these unknowns, how does Ken Forrester approach producing a range of wines that have garnered admiration and can elevate any occasion?
The start is a philosophy to create a range of handcrafted, individually made wines that suitably complement a wide variety of food styles and provide excellent value. This philosophy is combined with the vision to partner with committed staff that are cared for. Building from this sound foundation the focus in the vineyard is sustainability, using no herbicides or pesticides, and hands on. Tilling, pruning, thinning branches and leaves are all done by hand which is significantly labour intensive. This creates a high degree of induvial care for each vine and the results are very satisfying.
All these viticultural practices are done in very special locations in the Western Cape, and in the shadow of the Helderberg mountain. The Helderberg area has a Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and long wet winters. The Helderberg area is recognised as a unique terroir within the greater Stellenbosch. The soils drain well with fine sandstone topsoil on varied subsoil of decomposed granite and collections of koffieklip with clay deep below. The summer winds prove to be a test of the careful leaf management and create the essential cooling effect that supports slow fruit ripening while maintaining a structural backbone that ultimately carries the wine. The Helderberg area creates a variety of terroirs that are a winemaker’s dream.
From these vineyards Ken Forrester brings the philosophy of individually handcrafted wines to fruition in the form of three ranges that perfectly meet the demands of the market.
The Petit range is a collection of easy drinking everyday wines that demonstrate the scope of the Western Cape wine region. The wine making is light handed, with no wooding, to focus on retaining the rounded full fruit expression of each of the wines. These wines are elegant and affordable to enjoy as you wind down from the day and easily compliment any meal.
The Reserve range begins to demonstrate the finesse that Stellenbosch and the Helderberg have to offer. These wines include berry selection from older vines which work hard to capture the character of the varietal. The wine making is introduces skilful use of oak barrels, new and old, and lees contact to enhance the structure and mouth feel. This range concentrate the terroir’s character and depth into your glass.
The Icon range are from small parcels of older vines that are carefully tended to produce exceptionally low yields that further concentrate the intensity and purity of the terroir. In the cellar, extraction, fermentation, wine selection and blending are completed with a focus of fruit concentration and balance. Aged barrels are used to gently add structure and facilitate the harmonising effect of time to create wines of distinction.
Ken Forrester wine is made from a sound foundation with people and sustainability at the heart. These wines are created to be enjoyed and enrich time with friends and family, with a wine to meet all occasions.