After working intimately with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for 12 vintages in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley (“Heaven-and-Earth” in Afrikaans), Hannes Storm discovered two tiny parcels of land with particularly exceptional terroirs. The two vineyards were planted in 2008. Storm’s maiden vintage saw the light in 2012 and, after spending 18 months in bottle, the wines were released in 2014.In 2009, the Hemel-en-Aarde was divided into three separate wards—the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. Storm Vrede Pinot Noir and Vrede Chardonnay are from vineyards in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. The Ignis Pinot Noir comes from a vineyard in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, and Ridge Pinot Noir is from a vineyard in the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. Storm Wines is currently the only producer with Pinot Noirs from each of the three appellations in the Hemel-en-Aarde. With meticulous viticulture, minimal intervention in the cellar and a constant nod to the Old World, Hannes Storm creates wines with a warm personality and character.
Year Founded: 2008; first vintage was 2012, which was released in 2014
Proprietors: Hannes Storm
Winemakers: Hannes Storm
Size of property: Vrede Vineyard: 2 ha; Ignis Vineyard: 0.5 haAmount of property planted: 2.5 hectares
Terroir: Hemel-en-Aarde has a maritime climate. Influenced by the cool Atlantic Ocean, it is considered an exceptional cool-climate winegrowing region. The prevailing summer wind (the Southeaster) is a moderating influence, as is the Benguela Current, which flows up from Antarctica. A higher rainfall average than the rest of the Cape’s wine regions makes a significant difference in drought years.Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge appellations are established on clay-rich, Bokkeveld shale-derived soils. The vineyards of the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge are higher in elevation and more varied in aspect. The Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley’s vineyards have significant clay content in the subsoil but are mostly located in lighter-structured decomposed granite soil.
Varieties Cultivated: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
Organic/Sustainable/Other Certifications: IPW (Integrated Production of Wine)