A man on a mission, Banele Vakele of Tembela’s journey into wine is nothing short of extraordinary. Growing up in the township of Khayelitsha outside of Cape Town, he earned a scholarship to a smart Constantia high school and it was here, and a vineyard that his classroom overlooked that Banele used to stare on to at particular moments of ennui mid-class that so drew him to wine. Today, he now works as assistant winemaker for Duncan Savage in Salt River, where he makes his own wines.
From a 38-year-old bush vine parcel, this Chenin Blanc is a one-off, as Banele Vakele chose to make a Verdelho instead in 2022. Concrete egg-fermented before ageing in older wood, it’s leesy, textured, refreshing and dry, with lemongrass, pear and nectarine fruit and a tangy finish. Refreshingly well balanced.
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