Mullineux Family Wines was established in 2007 in the Swartland region of South Africa, by Chris and Andrea Mullineux. The Swartland is South Africa's wine frontier. Located an hour's drive away from the the industry's qualitative and established center of Stellenbosch, the Swartland is rolling hills of wheat and jagged outcrops of old vines, remnants of a once industrious cooperative-fueled sector of the wine industry that built itself on volumes rather than quality. Mostly red and white Rhône varieties and old-vine Chenin Blanc vines dot the hillsides. This along with Swartland kaleidoscopic variety of soil is what according to Chris made the Swartland a “no brainer” when it was time to establish their own winery. At the Mullineaux home vineyard in Riebeek Kasteel, they have a variety of schist and shale. But they’re not just restricting themselves to just one terroir type – they are leasing vineyard blocks across the region, from a range of soils, with 7 hectares across 21 different vineyards. Both had worked at Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards, a Swartland pioneer, making connections and relationships with farmers. Always keeping an eye out for the best growers, these connections would become invaluable when they decided to strike out on their own. The Mullineux approach, in both the vineyard and winery, is to work as naturally as possible without compromising quality. The approach is pragmatic and not tied down to any dogma. Organic and biodynamic principles are applied in the vineyards and nothing is ever added to the wine except for a touch of sulfur. The idea is to get out of the way of terroir and to produce wines that are elegant and vibrant; true expressions of the Swartland. Mullineux family wines has grown exponentially since the beginning. As well as producing wine under Mullineaux (appellation blend and single terroir bottlings), they make wines under the Kloof Street label. These fresh and too easy to drink, modestly priced bottles may be a touch simpler than their older siblings but they are made in the same exacting terroir forward manner. With the help of an investor, Chris and Andrea have begun a new project and winery in Franshoek. Known as Leeu Passan it opened up the possibility of working with new, exciting vineyards and varieties, some outside of Swartland. Many of these vineyards are quite old, including 120 year old Cinsault and old-vine Chardonnay.
What importer Skurnik Wines has to say about this wine...