wine info

Domaine des Dieux, Hemel-en-Aarde, South Africa

The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, which translates as Heaven on Earth, rises prettily from just west of Hermanus. When we first visited in 2003 the wineries, notably Hamilton Russell and Bouchard Finlayson, were all in the lower part of the valley, but more recently plantings at the top of the valley - higher, drier, with warmer days but cooler nights - have increased.  Enjoying naturally low pH soils, and moderate temperatures, cooled by winds from the ocean, this really is a sweet spot in the Cape.

Domaine des Dieux is a small estate just above Ataraxia at the very top of the valley in the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge zone. The farm, with vineyards on the slopes of the Babylon's Toren mountain, was bought in 2002, with an initial focus on making the first sparkling wines in Hemel-en-Aarde (and boy have they succeeded) but still Chardonnay and Pinot Noir followed. Des Dieux have an interesting model: they have 20 hectares of unirrigated vines but no cellar (and no electricity on site either!).  Winemaking of each of the wines is overseen by a specialist winemaker in local cellars - for example Kevin Grant of Ataraxia the Chardonnay and Niels Verburg of Luddite the Syrah / Mouvedre blend.

The multiple accolade winning Chardonnay is stunning, a full-flavoured, perfectly-ready-to-drink, barrel-fermented Chardonnay of concentration and length. We now rightly sell a lot of this - to private customers, Oxford Colleges and top London restaurants. But their Pinot Noir is also getting better and better; and their MCC sparkling wine, Claudia, is also superb: in September 2018 the 2012 vintage won Best Brut and Overall Winner (i.e. the prize for the best Methode Champenoise wine in South Africa) at the 2018 Amorim MCC Challenge.

Related Wines

  • Domaine des Dieux, Syrah-Mourvèdre, Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, 2014

    Product Code: DDD814

    Domaine des Dieux, Syrah-Mourvèdre, Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, 2014

    “Made by Syrah specialist Niels Verburg of nearby Luddite, about 95% Syrah in this vintage, full-flavoured and meaty, but also smooth, offering fresh...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Medium Bodied

    Rated 3 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: South Africa
    • Region: Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    More Info
  • Domaine des Dieux, Chardonnay, Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, 2016

    Product Code: DDD116

    Domaine des Dieux, Chardonnay, Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, 2016

    “Lovely bright hue – does it have a hint of green? As ever, rich and opulent, showing lime and cream, whilst restrained by a chalky note. In short:...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: South Africa
    • Region: Hemel-en-Aarde
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    More Info
  • Domaine des Dieux, Methode Cap Classique, Brut, Claudia, South Africa, 2013

    Product Code: DDD413

    Domaine des Dieux, Methode Cap Classique, Brut, Claudia, South Africa, 2013

    “The previous vintage of this South African fizz won two major awards: the Amorim MCC (Methode Cap Classique) Challenge in Cape Town; and the trophy...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 2 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: South Africa
    • Region: Elgin
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    More Info
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