The Rose House Accommodation & Mile High Vineyards
In 2008 approximately two hectares were planted to Shiraz, Pinotage and Pinot Noir grapes. At close to 1700m the vineyard is possibly the highest producing vineyard in the country and a truly cool climate terroir.
The wine is named after the Southern Bald Ibis which is endemic to the montane grasslands of the Eastern Free State Highlands and relatively rare, like our wine.
The best advertisement for the possibilities of Free State viticulture, I thought (not to mention for John’s winemaking), was the Pinotage. John’s general approach is much in line with modern, minimal artisanal winemaking, with modest oaking, and it shows in the natural, unforced quality of the wines, most winningly in this pure-fruited Pinotage, its fruit fullness balanced by a fresh, vibrant acidity and a well-calculated light tannic grip. It’s a wine that would be worth a detour to find.
Tim James, Winemag.co.za
“A giant leap of faith best describes this wine” is inscribed on all the back labels and you have to admire property owner John Critchley’s chutzpah in undertaking winemaking in these unusual climes. It must be said, however, that the results are rough-hewn bar the Pinotage which I really like. The nose shows some floral fragrance, red and black cherries, earth and spice while the palate is concentrated and fresh with tannins that are not too grippy. It’s a cheerful drop and worth seeking out should you find yourself on a road trip in that part of the world. Price R120 a bottle.
Christian Eedes, Winemag