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Scions of Sinai - 'Atlantikas' - Pinotage - Stellenbosch, ZA - 2023
Scions of Sinai - 'Atlantikas' - Pinotage - Stellenbosch, ZA - 2023
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Scions of Sinai - 'Atlantikas' - Pinotage - Stellenbosch, ZA - 2023

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The fruit for this wine comes from organically grown, dry-farmed bush vines in decomposed granite soils. These Pinotage vines were planted in 1976 and 1996 and are the closest to the ocean in South Africa. The grapes are picked just as they approach ripeness, to keep alcohol low and fruit just barely ripe. They’re hand-harvested early in the morning and brought directly into the cellar. 30% are destemmed, 30% are kept with stems, and 40% are direct-pressed. This wine ferments and ages in all stainless steel.

Atlantikas Pinotage is changing the narrative around this varietal by bringing a lot of positive attention to it!

Tasting Note
This Pinotage is meant to be light and playful. It’s only 12% ABV, bone-dry, and the most perfect introduction to Pinotage one can have. Pale ruby in color, it shows notes of red cherry, rose petal, mint, brambly berries, and a very subtle hint of bitterness in the finish. This gives the perfect bit of nuance and makes the wine exceptional for anything grilled. Drink this cellar temp or even with a slight chill. We promise it’s a crowd pleaser.


Bernhard Bredell started roaming the vineyards of Sinai Hill before he was tall enough to see over its bush vines. Today, he’s a seventh-generation farmer of these vines, which were first planted 160 years ago by his ancestors when they arrived in South Africa. Bernhard eats, sleeps, and breathes this land, and after just a little bit of time exploring with him, it’s easy to feel as connected to it as he does.
He’s an open book, and shares fascinating stories about his family history, the sacred nature of the land, as well as his regenerative and dry farming methods. He even recounted the hilarious story of getting in trouble as a young kid (as in, elementary school-young) for going to school with stained purple hands from daily fermentation punch-downs. Wine has, and always will be an essential part of his being.
His passion to nurture the land from which he was raised – and now tends – also translates into exceptional wine. Truly, Bernhard’s work has great potential to positively impact the worldwide view of South African wine. After I discovered it, my eyes became wide open to all the incredible things happening in South African wine today.
In our first meeting, we drove from his cellar to the old bush vines so sacred to Bernhard. These stunning vineyards are now certified Heritage Vines from the Old Vine Project and nestled between the rugged Helderberg Mountain Range and the icy waters of False Bay. Fun fact: his family’s Pinotage vineyard is the closest to the ocean in South Africa.
On the way to the vineyards, Bernhard shared a rather vulnerable and sad tale of his family’s wine history. While pointing out the nearly 200 acres of crescent-shaped strip of vineyards along Sinai Hill, I learned that nearly three-quarters of them were sold by his father after the passing of his grandfather. This occurred when the KWV Cellars suddenly stopped buying Port wine for their portfolio. The Bredell family had, for many decades, been supplying them with Port as negociants. The sudden termination of the Port negociant system led to a downward spiral for the farm, as 90% of it was producing Port, and done so by the recommendation of KWV many decades prior.
What remains in the family is owned by his cousin, who makes table wines from younger vines on the farm. The older bush vines are too costly for his wines, so he sells the fruit to independent producers who see their worth.
Still, the possibility of losing this land is a little too close for comfort for Bernhard. And this is perhaps the catalyst for his greatest motivation: to keep these remaining vineyards in the family. So, he takes it upon himself to farm a portion of selected old bush vines with his cousin. They have demarcated sections on Sinai Hill where each vintage Bernhard has exclusive access to the fruit. Acting as an unofficial vineyard broker and communicator to his cousin, Bernhard then helps take care of other sections where some top producers in South Africa have started to buy fruit.
Bernhard works tirelessly to ensure these historic bush vines are never ripped up in favor of higher-yielding trellises. Bush vines need less water, respond better to the decomposed granite soils of the region, and ultimately, make the best wine possible in the Helderberg.
Once we made it to the vineyard, and after learning so much about Bernhard and his story, his passion made all the sense in the world. As we walked through each parcel of vines – Chenin Blanc, Syrah, Pinotage – it became abundantly clear the special nature of this pristine land. From the juxtaposition of steep, jagged mountain peaks to the icy cold ocean, each vine in this site told a story. This special place will make any person marvel – as will its wines.

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