The wines of Iona come from a dramatically unique site in the Cape Winelands. The vineyards are on a mountain plateau 420 metres above sea level, surrounded by the Kogelberg Nature Reserve, and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. In a country where cool sites are precious, these vineyards are like gold – the grapes ripening up to two months later than other Cape vineyards and in perfect balance. Iona is South Africa's coolest vineyard site.
Andrew Gunn and family acquired this beautiful, but run-down apple farm in 1997. It was renamed "IONA" after the remote, spiritual island off the west coast of Scotland. We Gunns can trace our ancestry to the Vikings that landed in Scotland in the 900s, hence the Viking longboat emblem on our labels.
The first vineyards were planted in 1998 and our research confirmed that Iona is South Africa’s coolest vineyard with harvesting times up to 8 weeks later than other wine producing areas. An authority calls it SA’s one piece of land resembling Bordeaux.
The cool climate ensures long, slow physiological ripening of the grapes under ideal growing conditions, with the sugar, ph, acid and flavour compounds being in balance to produce elegant wines of distinction that rank with the finest in the world. Our focus is on sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and merlot/cabernet sauvignon which are well suited to the unique cool climate and low potential soils.
Since our first release in 2001, the wines of Iona have quickly made a name as being among the finest in the world. We invite you to visit our mountain vineyards – we have a lovely self-catering lodge – or browse the site for further information, contact details and orders. If you would like to know where to find our wines please check our agents or call us for restaurant listings in South Africa.
Iona Merlot Cabernet 2004
Lovely voluptuousness, truffle, liquorice and red berries from the Merlot, held in check by the firm, spicy tannins of the Cabernet Sauvignon and a moderate 13 % alcohol. Classic and understated.
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Iona The Gunnar Cab Merlot Petit Verdot 05
A blend of the famous Bordeaux varieties cabernet sauvignon which is planted on well drained gravely soils good for close knit tannins merlot planted on alluvial clay based soils, giving the wine its richness and petit verdot grown in quartz based soils contributing to the deep colour.
The wine is matured in French barriques for up to 24 months and then bottle aged in our cellars for a further 12 months before release.
Produced in limited quantities with the cool climate resulting in a wine that is more Bordeaux in style, with alcohols in the region of 13%, supported by beautifully balanced acids and red fruits (cherry, strawberry and ripe plums).
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