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Southern Right is a small Pinotage specialist located on a strikingly beautiful 448 hectare property in the cool, maritime, South African appellation of Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Founded by Anthony Hamilton Russell in 1994, Southern Right's aim was to produce a serious, age-worthy Pinotage combining a distinct South African fruit and flavor expression with classic styling and refinement. It is Anthony's belief that as an early ripening grape, Pinotage is best suited to cooler areas. It was also his conviction that the stony, high clay content, shale-derived soils on the sites he chose for the vineyards, were best suited to creating the more classic style he was aiming for. Rigorous yield management and extreme care to ensure harvesting at full physiological ripeness, combine with the terroir to re-define South Africa's red grape variety.
Classically styled this elegant expression of Pinotage is a complex version of a highly individual expression of South Africa's unique grape variety. The wines are named after the rare Southern Right whales, which frequent the cool South Atlantic Walker Bay, 3 kilometres from the vineyards. With each bottle sold, Southern Right makes a contribution to Southern Right whale conservation.
In 1994, Anthony Hamilton-Russell founded Southern Right Cellars as a Pinotage specialist, convinced that Pinotage has the intrinsic qualities to produce truly world-class wine with a distinct South African expression and typicity. As an early ripening grape, it is Anthony’s belief that Pinotage will perform best in cooler, maritime areas, where a longer, slower ripening season will afford fully developed tannins and a greater fruit complexity.
In partnership with winemaker Kevin Grant, the team initiated plantings on four carefully chosen, clay rich sites in the cool, maritime Walker bay appellation. Following in-depth soil research on Hamilton-Russell vineyards, Anthony and Kevin were able to discern that the most site-expressive and complex wines will be produced off of the stony, clay-rich Bokkeveld shale soils in the area. In 1998, a 113 hectare farm in the beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde Valley near Hermanus, was purchased as a central home for the Southern Right Cellar.
The first Southern Right Pinotage and Sauvignon Blanc were released in 1995. As an early ripening grape, it is Anthony’s belief that Pinotage will perform best in cooler, maritime areas.