Browse by Producer - Bouchard Finlayson
Bouchard Finlayson is situated in the wine ward of Walker Bay, mid way between Cape Point (Cape Town) and Cape Agulhas (the most southerly tip of Africa). The climate of Walker Bay is largely influenced by the nearby, cold Atlantic Ocean rendering it one of the coolest wine growing areas in the Cape. The Hemel-en-Aarde valley, home to Bouchard Finlayson, is central to Walker Bay. The valley is surrounded and sheltered by a mountain barrier, formed by Galpin Peak (810 meters) and the Tower of Babel (1200 meters), which traps the cloud cover and moisture brought in from the sea by the prevailing wind. Summer conditions are consequently warm rather than hot, and winter conditions are mild and frost-free.
Vines are planted on gentle slopes in a north-south direction, which facilitates the daily travel of sunlight from east to west ensuring equitable sunlight exposure.
The domain vineyards are planted predominantly to Pinot noir, the grape variety ideally suited to the clay shale terroir of the valley. In addition to Pinot noir there are white varieties such as Sauvignon blanc and Chardonnay, which are planted on the deeper soils.
Vineyard practices have been based on the Burgundian principle of high-density plantings with low yields. The result is a greater surface area of leaf exposure per hectare and restricted root growth, which ensures greater concentration of fruit extract. Most of the pruning is on a double Guyot system. “Green harvesting” is practised annually; approximately 35% of the green fruit is removed, allowing the remaining 65% to ameliorate greater flavour concentration. Grapes are harvested by hand, and more than one pass through the same vineyard is not uncommon.
Total annual production is approximately 15,000 cases.
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