Paul and Nicky Wallace purchased their 25 hectare farm in September 2003 and immediately set out to create their own little piece of heaven. Paul is a viticultural consultant and here at last he could practise what he has advised and encouraged other farmers to do in their vineyards.
It has long been Paul’s belief that the cool-climate region of Elgin, previously best known for its apples and pears, is one of the most exciting developing wine regions within the South African wine industry and indeed internationally.
The Golden Delicious and Granny Smith orchards have been replaced by plantings of Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec and Pinot Noir, changing the face of the farm entirely.
Whilst there are a total of 9.6 hectares planted, there remains arable land for a further six hectares to be planted. In the meantime while the choice of future of cultivar plantings is still hotly debated at the dinner table, cattle graze peacefully on the rolling pastures.
The whole family are very much involved in whatever vineyard activity needs to be done, from tipping vines, clearing alien vegetation as well as the training and trellising of young vines. The contribution of both Mark (recently graduated as a winemaker from Elsenberg Agricultural College, Stellenbosch) and Bobby (now enrolled at Elsenburg) is acknowledged on the farm signboard, which they insisted bear their names!!
Paul and Nicky have recently completed some extensive renovations to their farm. One labourer’s cottage has been converted into a charming tasting room, which is open every Saturday from 10 am – 4pm. If there is rugby at Newlands they may close a tad early and head on through to watch the match. If the Province game is away you are welcome to watch it on the DsTV screen in their tasting room. The tasting is open any time during the week, Sundays or Public Holidays by prior arrangement.
They have also renovated some existing buildings into a home for themselves and after a 12 year journey are now proudly living on their own farm, in a home with unparalleled views, surrounded by vineyard, water and abundant bird life.
PAUL WALLACE ‘BLACK DOG’ MALBEC 2011
The 2011 Paul Wallace Black Dog Malbec is the fourth vintage made from grapes produced on our own farm, Wallovale Vineyards. It is only commercial Malbec from the Elgin region and is named after Paul’s beefy black shadow, our cross Labrador/Rottweiler, named Jake. The Malbec grape is also known as the Black Grape and it is this characteristic that has been incorporated into the name.
The grapes were picked and destalked into an open fermenter and inoculated with WE372 yeast. The wine received three punch downs per day, was pressed after two weeks on the skins and taken almost immediately to barrel. Malolactic fermentation occurred in barrel. The wine spent approximately 24 months in 225 lit French oak prior to bottling on 12th June 2014.
Much like the dog the wine is dark in colour, well-muscled intense and full of character. The Black Dog Malbec displays an inky core with some bright garnet on the rim. An intriguing somewhat exotic nose conjures up hints of blue berries, black berries, brambles and redcurrants. The entry onto the palate is a satisfying mouthful of dark fruits and spice, with firm yet silky tannins, herbal notes, a hint of hazelnuts and some violets on the back palate. The Black Dog Malbec is a truly memorable wine which displays all the natural elegance we have come to expect from the Elgin region.
The ideal accompaniment to red meat dishes, a tender steak or sit in front of a fire, sip slowly and dip into a bowl of pistachio nuts.
PAUL WALLACE ‘BRAVE HEART’ PINOT NOIR 2014
The 2014 Paul Wallace Brave Heart Pinot Noir is our second Vintage. The name is a tribute to William Wallace, a man of great principle and heart, who we would like to believe is one of our ancestors. It is also a play on the Pinot Noir cultivar’s nickname – the Heart Break grape. Fortunately our 2014 Pinot Noir offering has once again captured our heart and is anything but a disappointment. Production was very limited – only 6 barrels / 1234 liters of this vintage were vinified.
Pristine grapes (Clone PN115, Guyot pruned) selected from three different slopes on our farm Wallovale Vineyards, were vinified with much love and gentle attention by Gavin Patterson. The wine was bottled on 6th February 2015.
The Brave Heart Pinot Noir proudly introduces itself with a bright garnet colour enticing you to explore it further. Fresh primary fruits, wafts of red cherries, strawberries and mulberries on the nose follow through onto a fruit driven palate. The purity of fruit is embellished by subtle oaking (17% new wood, 50% second fill, 33% third and fourth fill) and spicy undertones typical of the Elgin region.
Serve the Brave Heart with plum-glazed duck, roast turkey or a beautiful bit of salmon. It is recommended that in our hot summer months you serve this wine ever so lightly chilled.
PAUL WALLACE ‘LITTLE FLIRT’ SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014
The 2014 Paul Wallace Little Flirt Sauvignon Blanc is our second vintage, released in September 2014. As the name suggests she is little charmer.
Bright and appealing with a bouquet of tropical fruit on the nose. The palate reveals hints of gooseberry, pear and apple – a ripe fruit salad backed by an underlying mineral core and a hint of fennel. Delightful young but is expected to show her pedigree and mature with stylish grace and aplomb with further time in the bottle
Guaranteed to charm and captivate, she will pair beautifully with summer salads, fresh Cape crayfish, and all manner of seafood. Match her with mussels, seared tuna, kingklip or salmon. The Little Flirt will compliment roast chicken or pork chops and applesauce. For dessert serve her with apple crumble. She will certainly enhance your meal and even if sipped as an aperitif will flirt with your senses!
PAUL WALLACE ‘THE NIX’ SAUVIGNON BLANC NOBLE LATE HARVEST 2014
Named after Paul’s wife, who is partial to a noble to round of a fine meal, this wine possesses both charm and backbone – two of Nix’s personal traits. It flaunts layers of dense apricot and tangerine fruits, with a hint of almond and star anise and a drizzle of honey. An invigorating fruity acid adds backbone and structure to this maiden release of the Paul Wallace “The Nix” Noble Late Harvest.
Serve well chilled. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a cheese board or gooseberry cheesecake. Add a dash to your fruit salad or drizzle over your vanilla bean ice cream if you dare.
The 2014 vintage was characterized by a weekly splash of rainfall, which made vineyard management particularly tricky. However if ever there was a year perfectly suited to the production of a Noble Late Harvest, this was it.
The Sauvignon Blanc grapes were naturally infected with the Botrytis cinerea fungus and harvested at 32.6 ° balling. Whole bunch pressed, fermented cold and then matured in 4th fill French oak barriques for a period of 9 months in order to extract a hint of nuttiness. The wine was filtered and bottled with minimal intervention to best maintain its aromatic profile.
PAUL WALLACE ‘CRACKERJACK’ 2009
The 2009 vintage in Elgin is one of its best yet and this wine, as the name suggests, showcases all the finest attributes of a well put together Bordeaux-styled blend. The composition of the wine is 74% Cabernet Sauvignon; 14% Merlot and 12% Malbec.
The Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes were sourced from two farms in the Elgin area and the Malbec grapes are grown on the lower lying north-facing slopes on our own farm, Wallovale Vineyards. The grapes were harvested and vinified individually by Martin Meinert in his Devon Crest Winery, Stellenbosch but the final blend put together after the wine had been matured for 26 months in 225lit French oak barriques was very much a team selection by Martin, Paul and Nicky.
The first clue that this is an absolutely outstanding wine is the rich impenetrable purple colour. The nose excites with wafts of luxurious black fruits – blackberries, blackcurrants, dark chocolate and a hint of clove. A velvety smooth entry with superb fruit concentration will delight and transport you back to fond memories of decadent Black Forest Gateau enjoyed at the Mount Nelson Hotel. It is a classic blend, where the contributing varieties enhance and support one another. All in all it’s a Crackerjack of a wine. Enjoy!
Paul has extensive viticultural knowledge gleaned over many years commencing with 17 years at Stellenbosch Farmers Winery, employed in the capacity of viticulturist, grape and wine buyer. He has had his own viticultural consultancy since June 1996.
His services include advice on vineyard viability, vineyard establishment and routine viticultural practices. An outgoing peoples’ person, he is the right person to advise your farm manager and/or train your staff. His knowledge of vineyard, wine and the wine industry in general is invaluable in helping you make the right decisions.
Source your vines though Paul, a member of Cape Vines nursery in Wellington.
His clients include many leading brands as well as the smaller individual grape producers:
Elgin Vintners, Eikenhof, Beaulieu, Drumearn and Helderfontein, Elgin Orchards, Aulderan, Carmel and Highlands Road Estae (Elgin), Benguela Cove (Bot River), Sumaridge (Hemel -en- Aarde); Meerlust, Muratie, Miravel, Stellakaya, Summer Hill, The High Road, Yonder Hill (Stellenbosch), Oldenburg Vineyards (Banhoek); Windmeul Co-operative (Agter Paarl); Arra, Mitres Edge (Paarl); Cloof (Darling).
Words borrowed from: http://www.paulwallacewines.co.za/home.htm
Photographs taken by: http://www.gwphoto.co.za/