With an enviable position on the highest slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain, ranging from 370 to 640 metres above sea level on mainly south-facing slopes, lies Thelema, one of the highest, coolest and certainly most sought-after wine farms in the Cape
A chance encounter with Puligny-Montrachet in the mid-1970s convinced Gyles Webb to abandon his accounting career in Durban to pursue a degree in viticulture and oenology at Stellenbosch. After completing his studies in 1979, Webb worked stints at several wineries in South Africa and abroad before he and his wife’s family purchased the breath-taking 157 hectare site that would soon become the heralded Thelema Mountain Vineyards.
In July 1983, the McLean Family Trust bought a run-down old fruit farm situated at the top of the Helshoogte Pass, about 6 kilometres outside of Stellenbosch. The purchase marked the culmination of Gyles and Barbara Webb’s long search for that rare location where exceptional wines could be crafted.
Thelema is situated on the slopes of the Simonsberg, with mainly south-facing aspects that afford spectacular views of the Simonsberg, Drakenstein and Jonkershoek mountains. Elevations ranging from 370 to 640 meters above sea level make the estate one of the coolest and highest wine farms in the Stellenbosch area. The vineyard soils are composed predominantly of red Hutton and Tukulu, both forms of decomposed granite.
Although wine had been produced on the property in the early part of the century and table grapes were grown until the late 1960s, there were no vines on the farm at the time of purchase. Gyles Webb immediately set about clearing the land and planting the farm to noble grape varietals. In October 1987, building started on the winery, and in 1988, Thelema produced its first vintage release, consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Today the winery’s range extends to also include world class examples of Riesling, Merlot, and Syrah, and Thelema has gained international acclaim as one of South Africa’s elite wine producers.
In 2000, Gyles "Mr. Precision" Webb moved into the role of cellar master and handed over the winemaking reins to the talented Rudi Schultz. Thelema has continued its steady ascent under Rudi’s keen hand, as evidenced by Wine Spectator’s recent declaration that the estate’s wines are "among the few South African bottlings that can boast a solid track record of both quality and ageability." The prestigious publication has also hailed Thelema’s Cabernet Sauvignon as "one of the Cape’s most consistently outstanding bottlings." No stranger to critical praise and 90+ ratings for their blue chip bottlings, Thelema had the distinct honor of being named one of Wine & Spirits’ "Top 100 Wineries of the Year" 2008. The magazine declared that "Thelema’s vineyards have consistently produced some of the top wines of Stellenbosch."
Thelema Chardonnay 2017This beautiful Chardonnay delivers expressive aromas and flavours of fig, pear and toasted nuts backed by a complex lees character. Well-integrated oak…