|The story behind the South African wine ‘Life from Stone‘ is a fabled one. The wine itself is legendary and is made on the Springfield Estate in Robertson. I am happy to say I am a very big fan. This is fabulous wine. This is extraordinary Sauvignon Blanc.|
This week the Bruwer family published the story that we reprint below. What a great story. Enjoy.
To hear more listen back to our podcast at Kevin Ecock’s WinePod with Jenna Bruwer HERE. Better yet, grab hold of a bottle (imported by Classic Drinks) and experience a sensory explosion as you pull the cork!
Love Life with 21 Years of Life From Stone
When we first decided to single out a particular parcel of Sauvignon Blanc, over two decades ago, we never could imagine how iconic this wine would become. Twenty-three years ago, driving home from a trade event in Cape Town, Abrie heard the latest single by singer Des’ree on the radio – “Life”. Having been grappling for a name for this parcel of wine that was so concentrated, so pure that it deserved to be singled out, the pieces all clicked in to place. The vineyard was rooted in incredibly rocky soil – so hostile, that the family had been able to plant vines on this site for the first time only a few years prior. The wine it produced was unique – heady, aromatic, incredibly concentrated. As Des’ree crooned over the speakers – “Life, oh Life…” the name was coined – Life from Stone – and that summer, the maiden vintage made its debut.
When we first released Life from Stone it was like an explosion – a Sauvignon unlike any one before it, one that many a well-known journalist and critic told us was “impossible” to make in our warm region, one that defied anything that was read in books… we knew what our soils and what our hands were capable of.
Ever since that first vintage, 21 years ago, we have sought to create the perfect glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Working extremely reductively with no oxygen exposure has allowed us to best express the varietal – last year, in 2020, we even started working with dry ice while harvesting to further limit the oxygen exposure in the journey from grape to glass. We are often asked “What’s the trick?” – the trick is, there is no trick. Rocks have no magical properties – they simply make the soil less, which acts as a concentrating factor. Concentration is further aided by double density planting – 6060 vines per hectare – which forces natural competition. A final concentrating aid is the age of the vines – older vines produce fewer, more concentrated grapes. It is rare to find a wine with all three these concentrating factors, and it is one of the reasons why Life from Stone tastes the way it does.
Now someone with a keen eye and a moderate knack for math might pick up that the 2021 vintage of Life from Stone is in fact, our 22nd vintage. We all know that 2020 was a lost year for many – not only just in terms of celebrations or milestones, but in lives, plans, and dreams. We decided to postpone the coming of age of everyone’s favourite for a year – we all know birthdays in 2020 didn’t count!
We feel this vintage is the best one yet, and we are so excited to share the Life from Stone 2021 with you. It has been a challenging two years for everyone the world over, and to be excited about a bottle of wine seems almost frivolous – yet if this pandemic has taught us anything, it is to appreciate and value what you have closest to you. We are thankful that we have 21 vintages of this wine under our belt, and that we can continue our pursuit of perfection going forward.
Jenna Bruwer Kruger & the Springfield Estate team