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Topiary Wines: Seeing the wood for the vines

by , 26 April 2013

Looking for a top wine tasting experience? Head to Franschhoek's hidden wine gem, Topiary Wines. Nestled alongside the Wemmershoek mountain range, just off the R310 and surrounded by the fynbos and fauna of the Franschhoek Wetlands, it's the vineyards themselves that led to the winery's name Topiary. After all, what's more fitting when the bushes on the farm have topiary features cut out by the farm manager, Malcolm, himself?
The main attraction to this lesser-known winery is five-star wines it produces, which are drinking superbly at the moment with a few years’ age in bottle.
If you’re not sure where to start when tasting Topiary’s array, follow the advice of Richard Cranna, General Manager of WineWeb.
Meet Topiary Wine’s ‘accidentally award-winning’ sparkling wine…
He says Topiary Wine’s claim to fame is its Methode Cap Classique (MCC) 2008 vintage, which received a five-star Platter rating first time out. Cranna was so impressed with it on his first tasting of the 2008, he bought a few cases. To his friends’ amazement, his seemingly over-interested palate was then  backed by a five-star Platter rating just a few weeks later. 
And this wasn’t just a one-off; the 2009 vintage also received the five-star rating. 
But making bubbly was an accident, says Roy Andrews, owner of Topiary Wines on Wine.co.za.
He describes these Blanc de Blancs Brut vintages as an “accidental sparkling wine,” because his team set out to make a still Chardonnay but ended up making 800 bottles of bubbly from a bumper maiden crop in 2007. 
And there’s been no looking back since. In fact, Topiary Wines is one of the 18 Methode Cap Classique producers on Franschhoek’s new Cap Classique route.
Now you may be wondering why you haven’t heard of Topiary Wines before.
The reason is simple. They produce wines that are coming into their own with a few years in bottle, says Cranna.
And the best part?
Going against the crowd is the secret strategy to Topiary Wines success!
Topiary Wines produce very ‘terroir’-specific wines.
This means the character of the wine comes down to the extraordinary combination that’s occurred over centuries between a specific climate, a specific soil and specific plants.
This is great! Most wineries try to manipulate their wines to create ‘showy’ styles that do well in awards, yet prove fairly undrinkable after a single glass. But not Topiary Wines. They’re going against the pack and racking up the awards like the 2007 Shiraz which won a Veritas Silver Medal in 2010.
This small boutique winery has a tasting room featuring great views and excellent wines, as well as cellar tours, which are a must if you find yourself in the area.
And even if you’re not, it doesn’t mean they’re not accessible to you. Don’t wait another moment. Savour the flavour of Topiary Wines today.

Topiary Wines: Seeing the wood for the vines
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