Saltare means ‘to dance’ in Latin
Carla’s intention is to create wines with honesty, authenticity, luxury, texture and simple beauty. Her first edition of Cap Classique sparkling wine in 2003. Four years later she started Saltare as an independent winemaker and today she produces 10,000 bottles per year.
Carla selects grapes with natural minerality and carefully nurtures her wines with minimal additions and attention to detail. Saltare means to dance in Latin, which embodies the flair, movement and passion of her wines.
Early in January 2003 Carla invited a few of her friends to come and help her harvest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. They used a basket press to gently squeeze enough juice out of the grapes to fill one barrel. Half a year later, after the wine’s first fermentation, the light rose coloured juice was bottled for its secondary fermentation.
During the course of 2004 Carla met Christoff. By the time they decided to get married the Cap Classique had aged on the lees and was ready to be disgorged. The wine had a golden hue and fine bubbles – perfect for a wedding celebration. They decided that ‘the dance’ will express the character of their wine – and thus the name Saltare was born (the ‘e’ is accentuated: sal-ta-rε).
The friends were invited once more in January 2005 for a second vintage and since then it has become a regular happening. The Platter South African Wine Guide 2006 described the 2003 vintage as “full-flavoured, full-bodied, rich and yeasty, with lingering flavours of spicy baked apple, lively and dry” and gave it four stars. When the 2005 vintage was released it received half a star more and Platter 2008 wrote: “impressive brioche aromas, toasty, creamy yet with zesty freshness adding savoury food-friendly dimension, Chardonnay evident in fine citrus notes”. These and other comments inspire us.
Carla’s other muses apart from Cap Classique include the lively Syrah cultivar and the minerally Chenin blanc cultivar. She made her first barrel of Syrah in 2004 and after 18 months in the barrel and a further three years (and counting) in the bottle the wine is maturing very well. It has layers of blueberry and blackcurrant flavours combined with spices and a full velvety palate with cherry and pepper. A 2006 vintage has been bottled and will be released by August 2009.
In 2005 she visited the Loire Valley in France and were amazed to discover the versatility of Chenin blanc. In the following year we produced our first Chenin blanc from dryland bushvines. The vines, situated outside Malmesbury in the Swartland region, produces a small yield of flavourful, minerally grapes. The wine was barrel-fermented and aged in a third-fill French oak barrel for ten months. It has elegant pineapple, orange blossom, fennel flavours and minerality. The wine received a Gold Medal at the 2007 Michelangelo Awards. The Chenin blanc 2007 was bottled and was released in July 2008.