domaine des dieux – place of the gods

Domaine des Dieux – Place of the Gods – began as a dream inspired by numerous visits to Burgundy that contributed to a love for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Champagne. Then, in 2002, Sharon Parnell and Peter Clarke found a small piece of land – 28ha to be exact – nestled in the foothills of the magnificent Babylonstoren in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, where, it is said, heaven and earth meet.

Sharon and Peter made sure that the farm lent itself to the growing of premium Pinot noir and Chardonnay, amongst other cultivars that were carefully chosen and matched to terroir. But what astonished them was that in a valley that produces such premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, no-one else had yet produced a méthode champenoisestyled bubbly and they now pride themselves on being the first.

In less than a decade what began as a dream has grown into a boutique cellar producing small volume, superior award-winning wine. Their portfolio consists of six wines, the flagships of which are two MCCs – Rose of Sharon and Claudia – as well as the Josephine Pinot Noir.

The 2010 Josephine Pinot Noir was recently award a 2012 Michelangelo Gold Award and already has a 4 star rating in John Platter. This warm 2010 vintage brings a concentrated and powerful Pinot noir. On the nose, perfumed dark red fruits combine with earthy, cinnamon tones and a delicate smokiness from maturation in small French oak barrels. In the mouth, the wine is generous and full, showing bright red fruits and sleek tannins.

Pair the Josephine Pinot Noir with seared salmon, potato anno, savoury lentils and tarragon pesto for true enjoyment.

The 2007 Claudia Brut MCC represents the celebration of life and is perfect for any occasion worth celebrating. Claudia is a traditional, bottle fermented, method cap classique made from Pinot noir (20%) and Chardonnay (80%.) Creamy lemon curd aromas mingle with perfumed red berries, while it is fresh and light in the mouth with a long finish of toasty brioche notes. Claudia Brut MCC received a silver at the 2012 Old Mutual Trophy awards as well as a 4 star rating in John Platter.

Pair the Claudia Brut MCC with any seafood dish, especially oysters, or with canapés such as prawn and sesame toast with a soya dipping sauce.

Tasting and sales at the vineyards are open from Monday to Sunday, 10am to 4:30pm, from November to February and off peak by appointment. Alternatively, the wines can be tasted at La Vierge Cellar.

Domaine des Dieux wines are available at a number of local stockists including Wine Concepts in Kloof Street and Newlands, and Vaughn Johnson at the V&A Waterfront, but a full list is available here

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