Neil Ellis Wines

Chardonnay Whitehall – 2017

Region: south-africa

Neil Ellis Wines

Neil Ellis is a South African wine industry icon and one of the early pioneers to bring quality levels up to world class standards. The winery sits 5 miles east of the town of Stellenbosch in the Jonkershoek Valley. It was founded in 1993 with the philosophy to source grapes from the top growers of the region. The eco-friendly winery produces wines from the regions of Stellenbosch, Darling, Darbanville and Elgin.

Grapes / Soils

100% Chardonnay


Elgin is one of the Cape’s coolest viticultural areas with an average temperature of 20°C during the month of February. Our Elgin vineyards produce outstanding Chardonnay, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc. A mere 10km from the ocean, this valley benefits from cold winters with abundant rainfall, followed by cool South Easterly sea breezes in the summer. The cool summers allow for a longer ripening period which produces grapes with concentration, fruit intensity and elegant tannins. The soils range from white mineral sandstone and quartz soils known as table mountain sandstone to deep red clay soils from the parent rocks of kouebokkeveld shale and koffieklip. The vines are trellised to a 7 wire Perold system helping with shoot positioning for optimal sun utilisation. Average altitude 300 metres.

The Wine

Vineyard Profile

Our philosophy is to craft Chardonnay of great purity, reflecting site and the season in which it was grown.  Meticulous attention and care in the vineyard is most critical in allowing that expression.  Elgin is one of the Cape’s coolest wine growing areas with favorable climatic, soil and topographic conditions.

These vineyards are positioned on south-facing slopes of which the soil is mainly white mineral sandstone and quartz on a clay sub-base.  The vines are trellised and have access to supplementary irrigation.

Harvest Notes
  • Harvest occurred March 3rd-6th, 20017
  • Grapes harvested at 22°-22.7° B, with a total acid of 8 g/l and a pH of 3.10
  • Grapes were whole bunch pressed on a Champagne Pressing cycle and using only the cuvee
  • 100% barrel fermented, using 25% new 228 liter fine-grained oak barrels, the rest in 2nd and 3rd fill oak barrels
  • 20% went through malolactic fermentation
  • 9 months spent in French oak barrels
  • Bottles in December 2017
Winemaker's Notes
  • Straw like color with greenish hues
  • Attractive aromas of nectarine, hints of lemon zest and white flower notes
  • True to style, the pallet is harmonious and textural
  • Finishes with beautifully balanced acidity
  • Long and flavorsome mid pallet with rich texture, reflective of conditions of the vintage
Wine Summary

• Made from Chardonnay grapes.
• Trellised vine age – planted 1995 – 2010.
• Grown on mainly white mineral sandstone and quartz on clay sub-base soils of Elgin.
• The grapes were whole bunch pressed on a Champagne Pressing cycle and using only the cuvee.
• 100% barrel fermented, using 25% new 228 litre fine-grained oak barrels and the rest in 2nd and 3rd year oak barrels.
• 20% malolactic fermentation was allowed to complete.
• Aged 9 months in French oak barrels (228 lit) before bottling.

Technical Information
  • 100% Chardonnay
  • Alcohol:  13.0%
  • Residual Sugar:  3.0 g/l
  • Total Acid:  6.9 g/l
  • pH:  3.11


91 Points

Pear, citrus and green apple plus some struck match and a little vanilla on the nose. Lean and tightly wound on the palate, the finish is long and pithy. Matured for nine months in French oak, 25% new.  Drinking Window 2019 – 2022

Decanter, June, 2019

91 Points

Alluring, featuring creamed yellow apple and melon flavors gilded with light shortbread and salted butter notes. Ripe, but maintains a nice sense of detail. Drink now through 2021. 1,102 cases made, 90 cases imported.

Wine Spectator, June, 2019

General Info

Country South Africa
Region (1) Costal Region (2) Cape South Coast
Appellation(s) (1) Stellenbosch, Darling (2) Elgin
Proprietor Neil Ellis
Founded 1993
Winemaker Warren Ellis
Annual Production 50,000 9L cases
Farming (Sustainable, organic, biodynamic) Sustainable