The Creation Pinot Noir (a wine which has taken 450 million years to craft) is the latest addition to our wine list at Londolozi. Grown on ancient decomposed Bokkeveld shale clay loam soils, Creation is based in the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge just outside Hermanus in the Western Cape of South Africa.
Creation was founded in 2002 when Jean-Claude (JC) and Carolyn Martin discovered a tract of virgin land perfectly suited to wine growing. The found this whilst travelling the Hemel-en-Aarde road, along the slopes and valleys of the beautiful Babylon Toren Mountain. They had to build a winery up from scratch in a remote area, with no cell phone reception or fresh running water, and so Creation was born with the first virus-free vineyard planted in South Africa post 1994.
Background of Jean-Claude
Swiss-born JC was only 14 years old when he did his first harvest in his family’s vineyards on the steep banks of Lake Bienne in Switzerland. He completed his viticulture studies in 1991 and qualified as a winemaker in 1995. In 1996 he made his first wine in a converted small garage in a small French-Swiss village, “garagiste” style! The quality of the wine was so impressive that he was offered a winemaking position at the famous winery Grillette in Neuchâtel, where he soon became a director.
Background of Carolyn
Carolyn was born and bred in the Cape Winelands and grew up in a wine-making family. Her grandfather was Maurice Finlayson, who owned Hartenberg, previously known as Montagne. Her father, Walter Finlayson, put Blaauwklippen and Glen Carlou on the map. The Finlayson family have slowly branched out to the Hemel-en-Aarde with various family members producing outstanding wines. Carolyn moved to London after completing her university studies, where she launched her own design company, focusing on the development of world-renowned brands such as Laurent-Perrier. She married JC in 1999 where they settled in Neuchâtel and 3 years later, she managed to lure him back to her home country, South Africa, 8000 miles away.
Creation produces a variety of wines with a strong focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. At Londolozi you can enjoy the Creation Pinot Noir. This wine has undergone traditional skin fermentation followed by malolactic fermentation in barrel and then aged for 10 months 25% new wood, 75% 2nd & 3rd fill. The wine is intensely fragrant with a bouquet of red berries, vanilla and wood spice followed by raspberry and mushrooms on the palate.
Carolyn loves pairing wine with food, and this is one of the main attractions when visiting Creation. If you find yourself in the area, you really should pop in and try one of their many pairing options, from a canapé pairing, to a brunch, chocolate and wine or even a non-alcoholic pairing.
I’d love to know what do you enjoy pairing Pinot Noir with? And which is your favourite Pinot Noir?