Elgin is a lush plateau completely surrounded by steep mountains forming a natural amphitheater. With vineyards up to 500m above sea level, the higher altitude and colder winters make Elgin the coolest wine region in South Africa. This cool climate allows for the perfect ripening of grapes, creating wines that have freshness, flavour and balance.
Iona vineyards are set on a mountain plateau that is 420 meters above the sea level. They are surrounded by the beautiful Kogelberg Nature Reserve and enjoy the cool breeze that comes off the Atlantic Ocean.
The farm was originally an apple farm and was taken over by Andres Gunn in 1997. After he transformed the estate, wine was released from Iona in 2001 and has been growing from strength to strength, gaining both international and local recognition.
Andrew Gunn and family acquired this beautiful, but run-down apple farm in 1997. It was renamed “IONA” after the remote, island off the west coast of Scotland, from where the family can trace their ancestry to the Vikings that landed in Scotland in the 900s, hence the Viking longboat emblem on the labels.
A small team of highly motivated people runs Iona. When this property was revived as a wine farm in the late 1990s, it was at low ebb, as were the workers. The Gunns decided to share the ownership and the responsibilities of the farm with the permanent team. Today, everyone is proud to be an important part of Iona and the awards reflect this pride.
Iona’s philosophy is to make wine that expresses the soils and climate as closely as possible, making use of sustainable farming methods and to maximise the use of natural products in farming and winemaking. Everything is done in-house – from the vineyard to the wine distribution. Bobby Wallace, provided some history about the farm and background on the wines being served.
SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018
It is an elegant South African Sauvignon. It has a very pure, minerally nose with delicate, subtly herbal, gently grassy fruit. The palate is well balanced by showing green apples. It’s quite subtle but full flavoured followed by great minerality and length.
The wine shows concentrated apple blossom and citrus notes, with underlying hazelnut and lime undertones, which adds to layered complexity. Stony tautness adds to freshness and precision. The wine has great mid-palate length, with a long and intense ﬁnish.
PINOT NOIR 2015
Succulent black cherry aroma, bright but delicate and hints of forest ﬂoor, with underlying ﬂoral and spicy notes. On the palate, the wine is powerful, with silk-textured length. This charming Pinot has perfect balance, flavours of sour cherry on a base of light earthiness and a long, chalky dryness.
SOLACE SYRAH 2016
Red berry fruit, spiced with white pepper and floral notes. Supple, intense palate with fine matched by fruit depth. Deep, black-ruby colour indicating that it will be very big. On the contrary, it is elegant and not jammy. Whilst the aroma is still rather closed, it is deep and reveals black cherries and a hint of rosemary. On palate it is succulent with a deep core of fruit and good acidity to balance.
ONE MAN BAND 2013
Elegant with ripe, juicy red and black fruit. Lovely white pepper and sweet, exotic spice on the nose. The entry is intense, with underlying cedar wood, followed by a long savoury, earthy finish with fine grained tannins.
“One Man Band” is a very apt name for this Iona wine as the individual cultivars of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Mourvèdre and Viognier all work together beautifully to form one harmonious red blend.
Please phone to arrange a tasting: Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 17h00. Weekends by appointment only.