Joy of Terroir 2011
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February - Thelema Mountain Vineyards, Stellenbosch

It may be chilly here in the northern hemisphere, but the harvest will begin next month across South Africa, at estates including Thelema Mountain Vineyards. It was 1983 when Gyles Webb bought a run-down fruit farm at the top of the Helshoogte Pass, 6km from Stellenbosch on the 640m-high, southwast-facing slopes of Simonsberg - one of the highest, coolest spots in the region. The restoration process began with the clearing of apple, pear and plum trees plus virgin mountainside land, to make way for vines, of which 40ha were planted in the granite-rich soils, producing Thelema's signature minty Cabernets.