On Sunday evening I was one of the invited guests who were introduced to the new House of Hier wines by its owner Jaco Pienaar, in the home of Tania Olivier, whose White0000 company crafted the unusual name of the wine brand, and designed its unusual labels.
Jaco explained that Hier in the name denotes the location and terroir of his wines, being on the Breede River, between Bonnievale and Robertson, in one of the most southerly vineyards of the Robertson Valley, facing the sea breeze.
Hier is a collaboration between Jaco and Arendsig owner and winemaker Lourens van der Westhuizen.
Jaco is not a winemaker, coming from Pretoria originally but loves wine, and wanted to be a wine brand owner. He is a self-proclaimed maverick, and Tania and her design team created artwork which reflects this. The colour red is one of the design elements differentiating his brand, even though he has a white wine too.
The label design has an old-fashioned apothecary feel to it, creating believability that what is on the label is in the bottle.
The Hier Chenin Blanc 2020 is described as follows: the grapes are from a 28 year old block. The terroir is calcareous clay in the unique terroir in the Robertson valley. The wine was produced by means of spontaneous fermentation, with minimal interference by the winemaker. It lay in neutral French oak barrels for ten months, and spent nine months on the lees to add colour and richness, attaining a strong golden colour. The alcohol content is 14,5 %. The nose gives stone fruit, while the palate offers a taste of peach and honey. A total of 1200 bottles was produced. Six bottles cost R2100. Christian Eedes of Winemag has rated it 93/100.
The Hier Cinsaut 2021 was prepared by means of spontaneous fermentation and matured for nine months in natural oak barrels and concrete oval tanks, creating a wine with a hint of spice. In total 2400 Hier Cinsaut bottles was produced. Six bottles cost R2100.
Contrary to normal practice, Jaco chose to pour his Cinsaut as a pairing to the corn soup which Tania had prepared as a starter. He felt that his Chenin Blanc was full-bodied enough to be paired with the lamb chops, cous cous, and salads which Tania had prepared as the main course.
Personally I preferred the soft silky Cinsaut.
House of Hier, Jaco Pienaar. Cell 081 048 2153. www.hier.co.za Instagram: @hierwine
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein, My Cape Town Guide/Mein Kapstadt Guide Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide