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A beautifully executed concept, precision vineyards with passionate owners ensure a perfect combination. The farm is situated on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountains in the Bergriver valley, surrounded with the likes of Babylonstoren, Backsberg and Glen Carlou.

American Mother and Son duo Kristopher and Kathleen Tillery heads the team and describes their wines as “juicy , yet austere, elegant and above all unique to the place they are made” So, with terroir as a driving force behind the wine-producing-wheel, you can understand why they are rated under the top 10 best rated wineries on Spit or Swallow, and no 2 in the Paarl area.

They Produce quite a selection, and vino aside, the small batch Virgin Territory cold extracted extra virgin olive oil (it’s a mouthful) is harvested by hand at the estate and made from Frantoio, Kalamata, Manxanillo and Mission olives. It’s available for tasting at the estate and sold at Noble Hill as well as Melissa Food Shops nationwide. The range is not a basic one either, and includes Classic blend, Peri Peri , Curry , Chili , Garlic, and Dill & Onion Infusions.

They certainly like their spice, as is further evident in the chili/pepper garden situated behind the mexican inspired Cosecha restaurant next door to the winery. Head over there for an inspiring lunch after your tasting. Read our review on Cosecha restaurant.

Interesting note on sustainability: All packaging for Virgin Territory has been designed to be completely re-usable: the bottle is fitted with a high-quality re-usable stopper and the label has been replaced with a fitted rubber band. A dropless pouring disc is also included for easy pouring and refilling.

The beautiful tasting room is tastefully decorated in a california meets classic style which is comfortable and inviting. Brand cohesiveness and attention to detail is evident, from the website to the tasting notes. Knowledgeable staff will guide you through a tasting which includes:

Sauvignon Blanc 2011: Planted on one of the farm’s highest elevation sites the fruit is picked in the cool early morning hours to create the 2011 vintage which has a tight, crisp structure with notes of gooseberries, melon and nectarine, a refined balance between fruit and acidity and an elegant finish. Platter 4 stars.

The Longest day (Reserve Sauvignon Blanc) 2011: Grown at High altitude in the Overberg with a long but cool growing season to produce a complex, age-able wine. The structure of the wine is linear with racy acidity and minerality balanced by rich fruit. Platter 4.5 stars

Chardonnay 2011: Crisp, clean and flinty with a hint of butterscotch. Primary fruit aromas of citrus, lemon curd, and orange blossom which will give way to darker butterscotch and peat with aging of 1-2 years.

Viognier 2011: Grown in a small block mulched with citrus chips to create a healthy sub-surface eco-system. Primary fermentation occurs in 300l french oak barrels and no commercially produced yeast strains are added, relying on the wild yeast populations on the grape skins to conduct the fermentation. The wine has bright, explosive, floral aromas of honeysuckle and orange blossom, ready to be enjoyed now or cellared for later.

Merlot 2009: “A rebel with a cause: You’ll see why this Merlot is James Dean as Jim Stark, cavorting with cabs while other Merlots dabble in “easy-drinking fruitiness” Black cherry, caramel, and a full mouth-feel. Matured in225 l French Oak barrels for 14 months.

Cabernet Sauvignon: The decomposed granite soils that define the vineyards give this wine an earthy, cool distinctly Old World Character. Taste black fruit, ash, dark chocolate and stone fruit. Classic and elegant with hints of cinnamon spice and burnt caramel. Matured for 18 months in 225l French Oak barrels. Japan Wine Challenge Bronze Medal , Platter 4 stars

Interesting Fact: The Simonsberg appellation has been called “Cabernet Country”. Cabernet has been growing here for over 300 years.

Syrah 2008: Largest planting by area with each syrah vineyard having distinct character in terms of elevation, aspect, soil, rootstock and clone which gived flexibility in the creation of process. Taste Umami, black fruit and olive puree with well-integrated oak. Matured for 18 months in 225l French Oak barrels.

Estate Blend 2008: A Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot blend with aromas and tastes of blackberries, cherries and a touch of mint. Well integrated oak with graphite focus. Platter 4 stars.

All tasting notes from Noble Hill wine maker Bernard le Roux (studied at the University of Stellenbosch), who has worked at Flagstone, Hamilton Russell Vineyards, and Vilafonté before joining Noble Hill.

“When establishing Noble Hill I was given keys to every door, cupboard, and gate in a jumbled box. Sorting through the mess, I realized that some of the keys dated to the farm’s historic past, and ever since we have placed a key on each label. Different keys represent our different sources of inspiration and the different characters of each grape varietal. ” Owner Kristopher Tillery

From Platter’s South African Wines: Bernard le Roux, ex Vilafonté, is the new winemaker here, his ‘eye for detail and holistic view of the vineyard-cellar relationship’ set to bolster the aim of producing ‘balanced wines that reflect the best of Simonsberg-Paarl’,says director Kristopher Tillery. Bernard’s arrival coincides with the completion of a new bottle maturation cellar, which also affords more space for barrel fermentation.

A tasting cost R30 which is refundable on purchase.
Open Monday to Sunday 10h00-17h00
Restaurant open 10h00-16h30 (closed Tuesdays)
Tel: +27 21 874 3844
Klapmuts-Simondium Road Paarl. View the google map here.

Read some more reviews and opinions on Noble Hill on the Spit or Swallow website