Hamilton Russell Vineyards is located on a 170 hectare property within the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation in the Walker Bay wine district.
In a nutshell: Founded in 1975, Hamilton Russell Vineyards is a second generation family business, overseen from 1991 by Anthony and Olive Hamilton Russell. The estate pioneered the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and quality South African Pinot Noir.
The wines are, uniquely for South Africa, focused on a single estate grown Pinot Noir and a single estate grown Chardonnay with no reserves and no second labels. Both their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are regarded as New World icons with an uncannily Old World style. They are particularly successful in fine gastronomy and are listed by numerous Michelin star restaurants around the world.
Famously, the wines produced from the estate are known to bear a remarkable stylistic similarity to the very best Burgundies. The 20 parcels of Chardonnay wines are all vinified separately, and blended for consistency of aesthetic, whilst also maintaining the character of the vintage. The 9 Pinot Noir parcels give Burgundian subtlety, texture and length, a reflection of the stony, iron and clay-rich shale-derived soils on which the wines are grown.
The terroir: With a cool, maritime meso-climate, the wines are the most beautiful possible expressions of this special piece of ground unusually close to the cold South Atlantic. Extensive soil research was initiated in 1994, which identified 52 hectares of stony, iron and clay-rich, shalederived soil as optimal for the individual, origin expressive style they aim for. The soils are comparable in terms of clay content to the Côte de Nuits in Burgundy. In recent years, they have focussed heavily on organic and regenerative farming and have dramatically increased soil microbial life and carbon content.
The Hamilton Russell Vineyards ‘personality’: Iconic, internationally well-known and highly respected by the sommelier community, but still an exciting word of mouth discovery wine for many consumers internationally.