Our Best White Wines for Spring and Early Summer Drinking
We round up Alvi's Drift's superb, award-winning still and Cap Classique white wines. They're all ideal for enjoying in both spring and summertime.
Can there be any doubt that spring and summer is the time for white wines to shine? At Alvi’s Drift we certainly agree. Our third-generation family owned winery, situated in the Boland’s majestic Breede River Valley, has no shortage of superb, award-winning white wines (both still and sparkling) to add joy as the days warm up and spring segues into summer.
So, what are the best white wines to enjoy as the days start to get longer and warmer? White wines that are light- to medium-bodied, crisp and acidic, fruit-forward and dry are simply ideal for savouring at this glorious time of year.
Still or sparkling, single cultivar or blended, white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, blended whites and sparkling wines (Cap Classique or carbonated), are just perfect for making memories whilst being savoured alongside excellent company and delicious fare.
Named for the French word “sauvage”, meaning wild, Sauvignon Blanc (aka Wild White) was an indigenous grape cultivar originally growing in France’s Loire Valley and also throughout the country’s southwest region. This grape produces crisp, zesty white wines with trademark green and herbaceous aromas and flavours.
Sauvignon Blancs produced in warmer regions usually boast tropical and yellow fruit flavours, while cooler regions bring forth Sauvignon Blanc wines with more herbaceous, spicy tones such as grass, green figs and asparagus.
This cultivar pairs particularly well with lean, white meats like chicken, turkey and fish, green vegetables such as broccoli, cucumber and Brussels sprouts, as well as green herbs like parsley, basil and dill. Sauvignon Blanc also complements soft, white cheeses like fresh goats’ milk (chèvre) particularly well.
Alvi’s Drift Sauvignon Blanc Wines
At Alvi’s Drift, we produce three superb South African Sauvignon Blanc wines – our multi award-winning, wooded Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, our fresh, unwooded Signature Sauvignon Blanc and our newly launched 221 Sauvignon Blanc.
Alvi’s Drift Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Crystal clear with hints of lime green towards the meniscus, our Reserve Sauvignon Blanc boasts superb complexity on the nose, with notes of cut grass, elderflower, lemon-and-lime, and white peach. The wine’s well-rounded, almost-creamy palate boasts silky-soft tannins backed by fruit that follow in perfect balance with the wine’s crisp acidity. Expect a refreshing, clean, lime finish with lingering fruit.
FOOD PAIRING TIPS: This wine can be enjoyed with shrimp salad, a zucchini quiche or roasted asparagus topped with fresh goats’ milk cheese (chèvre). It will also complement any poultry dish, fresh oysters or grilled fish. Serve this wine chilled, between 8-10 ˚C.
View all Alvi’s Drift Reserve range wines here.
Alvi’s Drift Signature Sauvignon Blanc
Pale straw in colour and sparkling bright, our Signature Sauvignon Blanc offers exquisite aromas of granadilla and gooseberry. It is a well-balanced wine with crisp acidity and a refreshing, clean palate with fruit following through.
To ensure maximum flavour retention, clarified juice was cold fermented before stabilisation and fining. Only premium free-run juice of the highest quality was used to produce this unwooded wine.
FOOD PAIRING TIPS: Enjoy our Signature Sauvignon Blanc with prosciutto-wrapped breadsticks or seafood pastas. This wine will also complement young, fresh goats’ milk cheeses, and is perfect for enjoying at summertime picnics and with light meals.
Our New Alvi’s Drift 221 Sauvignon Blanc
Launched in September, our 2022 vintage 221 Sauvignon Blanc is a sparkling bright, pale straw colour wine with a youthful lime green edge. The nose is forthcoming with intense aromas of fig leaves, gooseberries, and lemon zest. Lively acids and ripe fruit conjure images of summer with the fruit following through on the palate, lingering with a fresh lemony finish.
A blend of barrel-matured and crisp, tank-fermented Sauvignon Blanc, approximately 25% of this wine was wild-yeast fermented before it was aged in older French oak barrels to lend depth and complexity.
FOOD PAIRING TIPS: Enjoy this dry white wine with roast chicken or pork, grilled calamari or fresh oysters. Our 221 Sauvignon Blanc will also complement green beans, zucchini or a Caprese salad. Best served chilled, between 8-10 ˚C.
SPECIAL OFFER: TRY THE LIMITED-EDITION 2021 VINTAGE!
Although our 2022 vintage marks the official launch of this new 221 Sauvignon Blanc, we also released a limited-edition 2021 vintage. It’s a sneak peek of the 2022 vintage, and the chance to savour a very special wine. Read more about what sets this wine apart here.
One of the most versatile white wine varietals today, Chenin Blanc was originally cultivated in France’s Loire Valley. It has since become an important grape, not just in South Africa, but in other New World wine regions as well. With its complexity of flavours, high acidity and the ability to become highly concentrated, this aromatic cultivar lends itself to various styles, including still dry white, sparkling, demi-sec as well as dessert wines – not to mention that strong South African staple, brandy.
When it comes to food pairing, Chenin Blanc is extremely versatile too. Fruit driven Chenin Blanc wines superbly complement spicy foods and curries, while the more “serious” Chenin Blancs (that are often higher in acidity) can be enjoyed with a wide range of dishes. The freshness of this varietal makes it an excellent match with fish and chicken dishes in particular, while this grape’s dessert wines can be enjoyed with both strong cheeses and sweet desserts alike.
Alvi’s Drift Chenin Blanc Wines
At Alvi’s Drift, we produce three world-class Chenin Blanc wines – our much-awarded Icon range Albertus Viljoen Chenin Blanc, our 221 range Chenin Blanc and our Signature Chenin Blanc.
“I’ve always loved our Chenin Blanc wines, the wooded ones in particular. Our South African Chenin Blancs just age so beautifully. If you ask me what my last bottle of wine to drink, ever, will be, without a doubt, it’s going to be our Albertus Viljoen Chenin Blanc.” - Alvi van der Merwe
Alvi’s Drift Albertus Viljoen Chenin Blanc
This brilliant, straw-coloured Chenin Blanc boasts a complex nose dominated by peach and nectarine, with notes of vanilla pod, fresh cream, and just a hint of roasted cashew. Rich, elegant, and velvety, this wine has a full, complex palate packed with ripe-fruit characters that follow through from the nose, before fan-tailing out to a lingering finish.
FOOD PAIRING TIPS: This wine can be enjoyed with a saffron mussel bisque or creamy coconut fish curry. It will also complement pork fillet with a creamy mustard sauce, or pork roast with apple sauce.
Browse all Alvi’s Drift Albertus Viljoen Icon range wines here.
SPECIAL OFFER: SHOP OUR LIMITED-EDITION CHENIN BLANC GOLD VINTAGE BOXES!
Embark on a vertical wine tasting journey, and compare three different vintages of Alvi’s Drift Albertus Viljoen Chenin Blanc. Choose between the Chenin Blanc Gold Vintage Taste & Compare Box (three wines in a reusable, artisan-crafted wooden box) or the great-value Chenin Blanc Gold Vintage Taste & Share Box (six wines in a recyclable box).
Alvi’s Drift 221 Chenin Blanc
This Chenin Blanc wine boasts a brilliant, pale-straw colour and a complex, fruit-driven nose of stewed apple, ripe white peach, and a hint of blossom honey that follows through on the palate. The wine’s creamy, silky-smooth palate offers refreshing acidity, with a lingering fruit-and-fresh-lemon finish.
Only the best-quality free-run juice was used in the production of his unique wine that is unlike any other produced in our cellar. A blend of both wooded, barrel-matured and crisp, tank-fermented Chenin Blanc, approximately 25% of this wine was wild-yeast fermented before it was aged in older French oak barrels to lend depth and complexity.
FOOD PAIRING TIPS: Serve this wine chilled, with roast chicken or roast pork and apple sauce. It will also complement fish terrines and freshwater trout dishes.
Browse all Alvi’s Drift 221 range wines here.
Alvi’s Drift Signature Chenin Blanc
Star bright with tinges of lime and green, this Chenin Blanc offers exquisite aromas of citrus, blossoms and white peach. It boasts a crisp acidity that is beautifully balanced with the fruit following through on the palate. The wine is backed by a lingering, soft and creamy texture, with a refreshing and zesty lime finish.
Only free-run juice of the highest quality is used to produce this fruit-driven, unwooded wine. Clarified juice was cold fermented to ensure maximum flavour retention, after which the wine spent several months on lees, before stabilisation and fining.
FOOD PAIRING TIPS: Enjoy this Chenin Blanc with any white fish such as hake, kingklip or sole, or with grilled prawns. This wine will also complement seafood pastas, and can be enjoyed with soft, ripe Camembert or Brie cheese and freshly baked bread.
Browse all Alvi’s Drift Signature range wines here.
White Wine Blends
Our Alvi’s Drift winemaking portfolio includes a number of award-winning white and red wine blends, including our popular, much-awarded, French oak-matured Reserve CVC white blend.
Our Reserve range comprises the best of our harvest – a fusion of our trademark fresh, primary-fruit style with just a hint of the opulent and luscious barrel-fermented style of our Albertus Viljoen Icon range of wines.
Alvi’s Drift Reserve CVC
“Our Reserve CVC is an interesting white blend with some remarkable components,” says Alvi’s Drift cellar master Riaan Marais. “The Chenin Blanc in this blend is not your typical ‘tropical-fruit flavours’ wine, but rather carries more honey blossom and floral notes. The Viognier component brings that spiciness to the blend, while the Chardonnay provides the wood, and a creaminess at the back. It’s just a beautiful wine.”
Boasting a striking, pale-lemon hue, this Chenin Blanc / Viognier / Chardonnay blend has a beautiful brilliance and a complex nose, with aromas of stewed quince, peach, honeysuckle, hazelnut and just a hint of butterscotch. The blend offers a well-rounded, structured palate, superbly well-balanced acids and tannins, with fruit carrying through to a memorable, lasting finish.
FOOD PAIRING TIPS: Enjoy this wine with mild to spicy curries, as well as seafood dishes. Our Reserve CVC blend can also be enjoyed with most soft cheeses. Serve this wine chilled, between 6-12 ˚C.
Browse all Alvi’s Drift blended wines here.
Cap Classique (Traditional Method) Sparkling Wines
Cap Classique is the name used to refer to South African sparkling wines created in the traditional method. The name was adopted as a response to the ban on the use of “Champagne” and “Champenoise” to refer to any wine besides bottle-fermented sparkling wines that are produced in France’s Champagne region.
In terms of production, there is no difference between Cap Classique and Champagne wines – both are created using the traditional French method (also referred to as méthode champenoise). The only difference between South Africa’s Cap Classique and France’s Champagne sparkling wine, is the region where the grapes are cultivated.
Hailing from the New World, our South African Cap Classique wines are often high in acidity, light-bodied and just a tad fruitier than their French Old World counterparts. Ideally, Cap Classique wines should be served chilled, between 3-7 °C. These wines tend to pair superbly with pork and chicken dishes that have an interplay of both sweet and sour flavours.
Introducing Alvi’s Drift’s Sparkling Wines
Aside from our Brut Blanc de Blanc, which is 100% Chardonnay, our sparkling wines are Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blends. The grapes for both our Cap Classique and carbonated sparkling wines are meticulously hand-harvested during the cool, early morning hours at the very start of the season. The reason for this? Early harvesting preserves these wines’ fresh, crisp acidity, an aspect so essential to producing a superb sparkling wine.
“Situated in a cooler-climate pocket (the southernmost reaches of the Worcester district, only 50 kilometres from the Atlantic ocean), our wine ward of Scherpenheuwel has been classified Winkler Summation II. This places us in the same category as France’s Bordeaux region. At Alvi’s Drift, we’re excellently positioned for producing Cap Classique wines of a very high quality.” - Junel van der Merwe
Growing in the ancient limestone soils so characteristic of the Breede River Valley region, our mature Chardonnay vineyard is ideally situated for yielding grapes of the highest quality, character and complexity, while our Pinot Noir vineyards are situated on north-facing slopes, with grapes grown in black slate soil.
At Alvi’s Drift, we produce two award-winning Cap Classique wines created according to the traditional method.
Alvi’s Drift Sparkling Brut Cap Classique
Combining a youthful character and delightful bouquet of citrus, lemon cream and just a hint of almond, this elegant sparkling wine boasts a vibrant and finely textured mousse. The wine’s crisp acidity bursts onto the palate with a charming, creamy texture, delivering great mid-palate depth with a delectably lingering aftertaste.
FOOD PAIRING TIPS: An exquisite companion to grilled chicken or fish, this award-winning dry Cap Classique sparkling wine is best enjoyed as a welcoming drink with raspberry-baked Brie, or smoked salmon-filled canapés.
Alvi’s Drift Sparkling Brut Nature Cap Classique
With a charming, gold-leaf colour, this bone-dry Cap Classique wine has lively bubbles racing to the rim to form a fine, delicate crown of mousse. The wine boasts a complex, intense, and appealing nose offering aromas of lemon cream, baked brioche and hints of nougat and walnut. This multi-award-winning sparkling wine’s chalky-dry mousse is lively on the palate, with notes of stone fruit and nut following through to a full mid-palate, where it lingers for a refreshing, lemon-cream finish.
FOOD PAIRING TIPS: Enjoy this Cap Classique wine with grilled prawns, fresh oysters, a mushroom quiche or with a walnut, pear, and goats’ cheese salad.
Browse our full range of Alvi’s Drift sparkling wines here.
“The amount of time that Cap Classique wine spends on the lees is a crucial component in the production of this style of wine. When dead lees cells are present in the bottle, through the process of autolysis, it returns the flavour of the fruit to the wine.” – Junel van der Merwe
Shop Online and Have Your Favourite Alvi’s Drift White Wines Delivered to Your Door
Visit our online wine shop to browse our ranges of superb, award-winning still and sparkling white wines, perfect for savouring during the warmer spring and summer months.
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