Samantha O'Keefe left California with dreams of starting a family and ﬁnding paradise. Tucked into the foothills of a dramatic mountain range at the bottom of Africa, Lismore Estate Vineyards was born alongside her nascent family. Passion and vision, combined with vines planted at 300 meters, chilled by winter snow and nourished by the African summer sun, produces classic, cool climate wines which are rich, complex and lovingly hand crafted.
The vineyards are planted on slopes at the base of the Riviersonderend Mountain Range where the Syrah is planted in heavy schist (decomposed shale) soils with no irrigation. The combination of elevation and climate make for an extended ripening period which is roughly three to four weeks later than the more traditional wine growing areas in the Western Cape. Extreme diurnal temperature shifts in these vineyards promote complexity, depth and concentration and presents a Syrah that has a very distinct sense of place.
The grapes were picked at optimal ripeness. 40% was fermented in whole bunches in small open vats. The remaining 60% was destemmed and fermented in a 5000l wooden fermenter with gentle pigeage throughout. A long extraction period imparts the fruit expression of this wine. The free run wine was drained oﬀ, while the fermented grapes were then pressed in a traditional wooden basket press. The wine was racked into barrels where malolactic fermentation took place and then blended into a 3000 litre wooden vat where the wine was aged for 10 months.