Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards
Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards is a smaller vineyard in Stellebosch with a breathtaking view to the Atlantic Ocean and Robben Island. It is as high as 420 to 620 metres above sea level on the Helderberg mountain range. This high altitude leads to cooler climates, bigger differences in temperature between day and night, and consequently a longer maturity time for the grapes. The wines from Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards have a clear, sharp punch of minerals and are generally more expressive than other wines.
Uva Mira translates as “The Wonderful Grape”. ‘Uva’ is the Latin word for grape whilst ‘Mira’ means wonderful, miraculous and full of charm.
The Uva Mira vision is to merge traditional winemaking practices with the latest innovations in technology to create defining modern wines of an international standard with the ultimate respect for their resources.
Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards is situated in the coastal region of South Africa, an area that boasts some of the oldest soils in the world. Evidence of this lies in the tall, weathered mountains that grace the surrounding landscape and the Helderberg Mountain Range against which their vineyards nestle.
Great care is taken when designating vineyard sites to a particular rootstock, varietal and clone. The latest in technological research is carried out on soil profiling of each individual vineyard to unlock nature’s secrets as to which rootstock, varietal and clone will flourish in each specific location.
The vineyard practices of pruning, suckering and canopy management are carried out in response to seasonal influences. These practices create the perfect microclimate for vines to flourish and achieve the desired flavour profiles, as well as influence the overall style of Uva Mira wines.
Normalised Difference Vegetation Index Images
NDVI images, showing areas of vigorous vegetation growth within vineyards, are taken bi-annually and are a useful tool for both viticulturist and winemaker. These images are used to manage specific pockets within the vineyards and are also made use of during harvest when specific pockets within a particular vineyard are picked to create their preferred style of wine.
The water requirements for each vineyard are monitored using both a mobile pressure bomb and sophisticated capacitance probes that are embedded into each vineyard site. This allows for targeted irrigation of each vineyard site, as each vineyard is watered specifically for its individual needs during the growing cycle. The pressure bomb is the only method that establishes the water potential within the vine itself. By using both the pressure bomb and probe methods combined, irrigation is carried out with precision to ensure the desired concentration and flavour profiles in the grapes.
Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards was awarded first place in both the 2015 and 2019 Vinpro Vineyard Block Competitions for the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc vineyard blocks on their Estate. This achievement is an acknowledgement of the excellence, attention to detail and passion put in to caring for their vineyards.
The Uva Mira vision truly comes into reality with the sustainable viticulture, visible from the moment one enters the Estate. You may notice owl and bat boxes resting between tree branches, perches for birds of prey standing tall between the vines and beehives lying alongside the vineyards. It is not uncommon to spot baboons stealing grapes, a duiker dashing between the vines at dusk, owls surveying the vineyards or a meandering caracal or porcupine as nightfalls.
Farming in harmony with nature
Cellar recycling and the returning of waste products to their vineyards is fundamental in creating a
harmonious environment for nature and the animals that roam the farm.
Alheit Vineyards is a family business started in 2010 by husband and wife team Chris and Suzaan Alheit. They met at Stellenbosch University, fell in love, travelled the world together, got married, then travelled some more. Eventually, they settled on Hemelrand farm close to Hermanus and started their project.
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