The Smuggler’s Boot Chardonnay is a barrel-fermented white wine made by Richard Kershaw in Western Cape South Coast (South Africa) with the Chardonnay variety.
In 1999, Richard Kershaw, currently one of the 10 Masters of Wine producing their own wines, chose to make wines with freshness and length in the Elgin Valley, the coolest area of Western Cape. Among his selection is the Smuggler’s Boot range, which is a tribute to the first South African winemakers who were not allowed to import winemaking materials into the country, and so hid the vine grafts in smuggling boots to get through checks.
The location of The Smuggler’s Boot Chardonnay vines means they benefit from proximity to the sea on one side and protection from the mountains on the other. This is a cool microclimate that slows down the concentration of sugars in the berry. Respectful agriculture is used and the yield is limited to produce high-quality grapes that are harvested manually.
In the winery, The Smuggler’s Boot Chardonnay grapes are pressed whole. Half of the must is placed in French oak barrels, 20% of which are new, and the rest is poured into breathable eggs. Fermentation also takes place in parts. 70% ferments spontaneously with native yeasts and the rest ferments with wild yeast. Finally, the wine ages on lees in barrels for 8 months with periodic stirring. When the wine is ready, it is bottled with a light filtration.
The Smuggler’s Boot Chardonnay is made by Richard Kershaw, one of the professionals of the prestigious English wine and alcohol training institution, WSET (Wine and Spirirts Education Trust). A single-variety white that shows the nobility of the Chardonnay variety in a Mediterranean climate.