The family now owns 180 hectares of land and does not plan to increase its size, rather they want to focus on quality. He explained how the origin of their name comes from François Rabelais a monk, doctor and writer in sixteenth-century France who imagined a utopian abbey on the banks of the Loire. In stark contrast to the religious orders of his day, this community admitted both men and women and encouraged them to live together in great luxury. This was the Abbey of Thélème, which ultimately lent its name to our vineyard on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain: Thelema. (from their website)
I asked about how the various ethnicities of South Africa are getting involved in the wine industry, but the answer is more than in earlier times but not much. Wine was not part of the traditional culture of the Ndebele, Xosa, Zulu...
They use thermal imaging of the vineyard to monitor maturity and decide when to pick at the exactly perfect moment. Which means picking at different places on different days.
|thermal imaging of Thelema vineyards|
They use screw caps, they believe it will allow for more homogeneous aging in the bottle.
Here is my notes from their best wines tasted today:Thelema Chardonnay 2011
Pressed in steel tanks and fermented in French oak barrels.