A winemaker’s dream is to explore various terroirs and specifically to have the opportunity to select a parcel of soil that ignites their soul and to get to call it their Cellar Master Series. These parcels of land for our award-winning winemaker, Pierre Wahl, who started his journey with Survivor Wines at the beginning of 2022, was found in the Tradouw Valley.
He is known as the ‘Pope of Pinotage’ but his aspirations and love for wine stretch far beyond one cultivar. Being a member of the CWG since 2010, he made his mark with especially Pinotage and Chenin Blanc by winning numerous of trophies for Pinotage and winning the Dinersclub Winemaker of the Year Award in SA with a Chenin Blanc. During his search for where he would make his mark as SURVIVOR’s Cellar Master, he discovered the magnificent terroir of Tradouw – the gateway to the Klein Karoo. Pierre calls Tradouw the “Oasis of the Klein-Karoo” and with its unique continental climate, it is probably the most underrated wine-producing area in South Africa. We would love to be the ones to put it back at the top where it belongs, producing world-class gastronomical wines with power and elegance.
Holding true to a sense of place, he created the first of his ultimate premium ambassadorial wine, named Pendulum – a powerful blend of Cabernet Franc & Merlot. This terroir undoubtedly offers all the elements to produce a consistent old-world style of wine. Why the name Pendulum? This premium blend will always consist of Cabernet Franc & Merlot, but just as the Nguni tail swings, vintage conditions will determine which of the cultivars will champion the wine. Awarded 93 points by Tim Atkin before its release, this maiden 2019 vintage has already proven its stature.
To add to the excitement, Pierre has also made a “Chablis” style Chardonnay as part of this range to be released in December 2022. Being the purist that he is, he believes that the shale soil in Tradouw will exalt Chardonnay’s pure mineral characters. The wine is already showing the typical flintiness derived from these complex soils. An ‘under-the-counter’ pour at Cape Wine 2022 this hidden treasure was whispered to be one of a kind of this noble cultivar and one of the best in show.