Charles Back was a pioneer in the Swartland when he started Spice Route in 1998. “Without [Charles]…the Swartland would still be regarded as a rural backwater” wrote Tim Atkin. Today, the region is the source of many of South Africa’s outstanding wines, yet Spice Route remains one of the best and most credible producers in the region, due largely to the fact that they own their own vineyards. Winemaker Charl du Plessis has been with Charles for 15 years, and knows the region intimately.
Spice Route’s 100 ha of vineyards are situated in Malmesbury and Darling. The vineyards, all bush trained are farmed without irrigation, are planted on shale and red clay subsoils (the clay ensures the vineyards are dry grown). Chakalaka is a blend of six different grape varieties (Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Petite Sirah and Tannat) which were selected for their suitability to the Swartland growing conditions
Chakalaka is Spice Route’s signature wine and it is made from classic Rhône varieties. Chakalaka is also a Zulu word that implies togetherness, refers to a truly South African blend of spices, used to add flavour to local dishes. Traditional practices in the vineyards and a delicate hand in the cellar craft the Spice Route Chakalaka blend: a sum of many parts selected for their ability to express the soils of the Swartland wine region harmoniously.Additional informations (PDF)