Carolyn explained that being close to the Atlantic Ocean and high up gives them a really cool climate with 12˚C difference between night and day. Day time temperatures during the summer around between 23˚-26˚ with not more than five days over 30˚C. "Ours is a cool climate in a global context," she said.
Next up was their 2016 Viognier – unwooded, light peach and apricot, not obvious or blowsy, instead restrained precise fruit. Then on to a flagship – The 2015 Art of Chardonnay from a single vineyard site with a delicate melon aromas, quite aromatic with attractive texture with a slight lactic flavour and just a touch of wood. Although this Chardonnay is fermented in 100% new oak the wood influence is certainly not dominant. However, retailing at £50 a bottle I'd go for the substantially cheaper Sauvignon Blanc/Semillion or Viognier.
Of the reds I was most impressed with the three Pinot Noirs – estate, reserve and Art of Creation. No surprise really that PN responds well to Creation's cool climate. Of the three I particularly enjoyed both the 2015 and 2013 Reserves with their lovely silky texture allied with power and concentration while their family characteristics of precision and restraint with freshness in the finish.
I also liked the floral and delicate 2015 Syrah/Grenache – 80% Syrah, 20% Grenache. It is interesting that it is possible to grow with success so many different grape varieties here that normally require very different climates: Pinot Noir and Grenache, for example. It was decided, however, that here was too cool for Chenin Blanc, which seems curious if it is possible to ripen Grenache as there is a minimal amount of Grenache planted in the Loire Valley.
There are plans to plant some Roussanne and Grenache Blanc.
Wine tourism is very important to Creation employing 60 people on site with a further 30 in the vineyards. Cellar door sales account for 30% and, of these, 50% are to visitors from outside South Africa.