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Restless River

“If you have ever wondered whether the Cape would ever make Grand Cru Chardonnay, the answer is in this bottle.” – Matthew Jukes, Money Week on the 2013 Chardonnay

There’s something so terribly evocative and romantic about the name isn’t there? Craig and his wine Anne switched a glamourous and busy life in Cape Town for the run-down sheep farm they now call home in 2004. There were vines already on the property, and it turned out the farm had previously been owned by a distant relative of Craig’s who, back in 1760, had made moonshine there. Entirely self-taught, Craig began to tinker a little in the cellar producing wine for their own consumption, more as a form of leisure than anything else, but he was soon producing more than they could manage, and in 2012, released their first wines. Almost overnight, praise started flowing in and in a very short time, they became one of the coolest new kids and most acclaimed small estates in the Cape. For a region synonymous with Pinot Noir, their decision to plant Cabernet was a surprise to many, and Craig even described himself as "the only guy in the valley mad enough to grow Cab. Several of their venerable neighbouring estates told Craig to pull out all the vines and to plant Pinot instead. He’s proved them all wrong, and goodness, he’s done it with aplomb. 

Restless River is defined by its terroir, and Craig's thoughtful and careful winemaking allows it to be the star of the show. We know that “hand-crafted” and “artisanal” are two of the most overused words in wine, but these are the real deal. The wines are opulent yet balanced, ever-evolving and utterly delicious. It’s a sign of Craig’s obsession with quality that he poured his 2007 down the drain, rather than de-classifying it and selling it off in bulk. He’s fastidious and patient, and the wines are released only when he feels they’re ready.

 

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