Durbanville Hills has released its light range, featuring a Chenin Blanc and Shiraz. Keeping abreast of the global trend towards moderation and a more mindful lifestyle, the range is lower in both alcohol and calories.
Crafting these wines to be at 9% alcohol and around 30% lower in calories was a challenge for Martin Moore, the Durbanville Hills’ Cellar Master, as taste would not be compromised. Innovative winemaking is a core part of Durbanville Hills, so it was a challenge the winemakers accepted happily.
“We wanted to create a low alcohol wine that does not compromise on taste or quality, that showcases our cool climate terroir and is a joy to drink. We certainly didn’t want to release a wine that would be viewed as ‘fair or passable’, so we took our time in investigating all the options, including experimenting with the various methods of dealcoholisation.”
Although the grapes for the Chenin Blanc were harvested around two weeks earlier than normal, the abundance of flavour present even at a lower sugar level was astounding. The wine was made following the same methods for the full-alcohol wines with no shortcuts and no additional technology.
“The red was a bit trickier. We realised we had to harvest the Shiraz grapes fully ripe to counter green, harsh tannins, so I hand-selected a block with thin skins and naturally lower in tannin,” he said. The taste is fruit-forward, well-balanced and not much different from the cool climate elegance that Durbanville Hills’ wines are known for.
The Durbanville Hills Light Chenin Blanc 2021 is brilliantly clear in colour with olive green edges. Inviting vibrant tropical fruit, pear, lime, pineapple, paw-paw and floral notes unravel on the nose and leads to a refreshing, crisp taste brimming with fruit flavours.
Although the Durbanville Hills Light Shiraz 2021 is a young wine, it is very drinkable. The wine holds a ruby red colour with a lovely combination of ripe plum, black cherry, liquorice, hints of vanilla and star anise on the nose. It’s a mouth-filling wine with soft, silky tannins, sweet dark fruit and hints of vanilla.
The Durbanville Hills Light range is available nationwide and retails for about R79.99 each.