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South Africa’s Hemel-en-Aarde: A Chardonnay paradise

In just a few decades, this arrestingly beautiful part of South Africa’s south has risen to join the elite of regions reputed as top-quality sources of the world’s best-loved white grape.

One of the most southerly wine-producing areas in the world, South Africa’s Hemel-en-Aarde Valley has rapidly gained a reputation as the source of striking, high-quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines.

Anthony Hamilton Russell, of Hamilton Russell Vineyards, is one of the region’s leading advocates. ‘I know I am biased,’ he tells me on a recent visit, ‘but, with few exceptions, Hemel-en-Aarde makes the finest Chardonnay in South Africa.’ These wines are for you, he says, ‘if your stylistic preference is for tightness, minerality and a bone-dry sensation without compromising length and texture’.

At Creation Wines, co-owner Jean-Claude Martin agrees: ‘Hemel-en-Aarde produces Chardonnays of great elegance and finesse: haunting, restrained, with acidity and texture lifting them from a broader style.’

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for 12 Hemel-en-Aarde Chardonnays

See notes and scores for 12 Hemel-en-Aarde Chardonnays

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