Brookdale originally formed the upper part of the historic Nederburg Estate in the east of Paarl. When Tim Rudd purchased the land in 2015 most of the vineyards had been badly neglected and only two blocks of Chenin Blanc, planted in 1985 and 1993, were worth saving. Duncan Savage (Savage Wines) joined the project in 2016 as an adviser and winemaker. Much of their current work involves the ongoing rejuvenation of the vineyards. They have re-planted most of the rest of the land with a selection of Rhone varietals from Syrah and Grenache to Counoise and Piquepoul Blanc, plus a few Mediterranean varieties. The granite schist and clay soils across the site give an “old world” style with the emphasis on style, elegance and age-worthiness rather than up-front fruit. Working the soil is a big focus: “As we get to know the site better we will be able to choose our path” Tim explains, “the long term aim is to dry-farm and to work organically as much as possible”. The first release under the new name is a rich textured Chenin aged for a year in 50% new and 50% oak before release. It’s early days but with some great old fruit, the improvements at the estate and Duncan’s winemaking nous this is a project to watch.