Hemel-en-Aarde’s Pinot Noir collection is growing larger and more interesting with the addition of another claim to its list of achievements. Berene Sauls of Hamilton Russell Vineyards has exceeded all expectations with her Tesselaarsdal Pinot Noir. This is a breakthrough in more than one respect: a first wine for Berene, but importantly the first wine project wholly-owned by a member of a “previously disadvantaged community” in the Hemel-en-Aarde area and, indeed, the Overstrand. With the encouragement of Anthony Hamilton Russell, Berene’s Tesselaarsdal has surpassed all hopes. Her influence and history strongly support the promotion of this first release. The wine is named after the historic rural hamlet Tesselaarsdal, not far from Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, where Berene was born. It was at Tesselaarsdal where Berene’s ancestors once lived as freed slaves on land bequeathed to them in 1810 by former East India Company Settler, Johannes Tesselaar. The naming of her first wine appropriately honors her roots. Tesselaarsdal Pinot Noir continues the legacy of the Sauls and the Tesselaarsdal farm.
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