Neil Ellis Wines

Chardonnay Whitehall – 2018

Region: South Africa - Stellenbosch

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.

The Wine

Vineyard Profile
  • Grapes from close to the Whitehall farm, where Neil Ellis produced the first certified wine from Elgin
  • Elgin is one of the Cape’s coolest viticultural areas with an average temperature of 68ºF/20°C during the month of February
  • Soils: white mineral sandstone and quartz with clay subsoil
  • Aspect: South-facing slopes
  • Altitude: average 985 feet/300 meters
  • Trellised vines
Harvest Notes
  • Harvest commenced February 26 and completed March 7, 2018
  • Grapes harvested 22 – 22.8°B with a total acid of 8 g/l and pH of 3.08
  • Yield: 8 tons/ha
  • Grapes whole cluster pressed on a Champagne pressing cycle using only the cuvee
  • 100% barrel fermented using 35% new 228L fine grained oak barrels and balance in 2nd and 3rd used barels
  • 20% of wine underwent malolactic fermentation
  • Wine aged 9 months in 228L oak barrels
Winemaker's Notes

Attractive aromas of lemon zest, pear and white flower notes. Tightly structured palate with mouth watering acidity. balanced by subtle oak. Restrained mineral edge, with balanced richness, elegance and length.

Wine Summary

100% Chardonnay; alcohol: 13%; soils white mineral sandstone and quartz on clay subsoil; vines grown near Whitehall farm in Elgin; grapes whole cluster pressed using Champagne pressing cycle; 100% barrel fermented in 35% new, 228L French oak barrels and 2nd and 3rd used barrels; 20% of wine completed malolactic fermentation; aged 9 months in 228L French oak barrels.

Technical Information
  • 100% Chardonnay
  • Alcohol: 13%
  • TA: 6.4 g/l
  • pH: 3.19
  • RS: 3 g/l
  • Bottled: January 2019


95 Points


Bright fragrant nose of apple, citrus and tangerine with crunchy cassis leaf. Zesty and lively on the palate with a toasty richness underneath. Bold and vibrant on a long finish.

Decanter, November, 2020

90 Points

Snappy acidity imparts verve and drive to flavors of Honeycrisp apple, kiwi fruit, tangerine and slivered almond in this medium-bodied white. Subtle hints of minerally stone and salt chime on the finish. Drink now through 2024.

Wine Spectator, July, 2021

General Info

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