Hemel-En Aarde Valley, South Africa
See Ashbourne wines we sell
Ashbourne couldn’t have a prettier setting, in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley just outside Hermanus. Ashbourne is a second property of Anthony Hamilton Russell. Hamilton Russell specializes in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and in 1991 Anthony Hamilton Russell returned to South Africa and wanted to make a wine that showcased Pinotage, and that could not be done at Hamilton Russell. He believed that Pinotage had potential and that it had not been given the right treatment in the vineyard or in the cellar. At the time most of the Pinotage was made by cooperative wineries or by small producers who did not specialize in Pinotage. Anthony decided to make a wine that was going to be considered world class, but he did not want to use the traditional Bordeaux grape varietals to prevent people from comparing his wine to other famous wines of the world. The goal was to make a wine that was world class but also original. The Ashbourne Red was soon followed by a white, the Sandstone, named after the soils in which it is grown. Both blends are elegant and lean towards the old world style. The red is a Pinotage based blend and the white is a Bordeaux white blend.
The climate is influenced by the cool Atlantic ocean nearby, and the slopes that face partly North. Owner Anthony Hamilton Russell did soil mapping to correctly match grape varieties with soils, and some of the area on the property was left unplanted in an effort to preserve the natural habitat.
While this winery does not have a tasting room, we definitely recommend a visit to the town of Hermanus and the Hamilton Russell tasting room. September brings the Southern Right whales which are another good reason to visit.