The lower slopes of the Newton Johnson farm are undeniably suited to Rhône/Mediterranean grape varieties. Alluvial deposits of large stone fragments up to two meters deep require vigorous growing vines to search for nutrients and water. ‘FULL STOP ROCK’ is how we define this jagged landscape. Unlike Pinot noir that is sapped of its plump fruit and vitality, robust vines like Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre, thrive in this type of soil. When we pion eered the Syrah grape in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley little was known of the potential styles of Syrah -based blends from the cooler South African wine areas. We were encouraged to discover clear-cut, invigorating wines with compact black fruit, spice, perfume, and sophisticated tannins.