Capensis celebrates the character of the extreme vineyard sites of South Africa’s Western Cape through the noble white variety, Chardonnay.
South Africa’s Western Cape can be called both the oldest wine region of the New World and the newest wine region of the Old World. Capensis skillfully combines these two facets — the oldest and the newest — of Western Cape winemaking. It embodies the unparalleled quality that comes from old, gnarled vines planted in some of the oldest soils in the world, and it represents the young energy of a new generation of winemakers determined to make world-class wines with state-of-the-art techniques.
Capensis, meaning “from the Cape,” is a leader in bringing South Africa to the forefront as a world-class Chardonnay producer. The commitment to Chardonnay comes from the belief that the truly great vineyard sites around the world are revealed by only a few noble grape varieties.
The Capensis estate vineyard, Fijnbosch, was named after the Dutch settlers’ term for the natural vegetation in the area—meaning “fine bush” or “fine woods.” The nearly 20 acres of Chardonnay are planted in clay soils on the high-elevation, steep terrain of the Groot Drakenstein mountains in the Banghoek Valley.
In the late 1980s, when certified Chardonnay clones became available in South Africa, the high-elevation Fijnbosch Vineyard was established in Stellenbosch. The granitic and sandstone soils offer good drainage for deep rooting, yet the clay content is high enough to provide water retention. Cool-favoring varieties, like Chardonnay, develop best when planted on sites at high elevations and in close proximity to the ocean. The Jackson family acquired the property in December 2014, after being extremely pleased with its contribution to the first two vintages of Capensis, 2013 and 2014.
The Fijnbosch Vineyard fruit brings refinement, structure and acidity to Capensis and lends pronounced citrus notes. This is the heart and soul of the wine, making up about half of the blend. This vineyard, which has very little irrigation, ripens from the mid- to late season.