Neil Ellis Wines

Chardonnay Whitehall – 2020

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

Vineyards 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 in February
  • Soils: White mineral sandstone and quartz with clay subsoil
  • Exposure: South-facing slopes
  • Altitude: average 985 feet/300 meters
  • Vine Training System: Trellis
Harvest Notes
  • Harvest began February 18 and concluded March 18, 2020
  • Grapes at 21.5 – 22.5ºBrix, total acid 8.5 g/l
  • Yield: 6.5 – 8 tons/acre
  • Whole cluster pressed
  • 100% barrel fermented using 30% new 228L fine grained oak barrels and balance in 2nd and 3rd fill used barels
  • 30% of wine underwent malolactic fermentation
  • Aged 9 months in 228L oak barrels
  • Bottled in November 2020
Winemaker's Notes

The wine has an attractive bouquet and brings together aromas of lime, white nectarine, hazelnut and flinty mineral aromas. Tightly structured palate and bouquet blend into a subtle harmony. This wine combines grace with a well defined character and remarkable concentration.

Wine Summary

100% Chardonnay; alcohol: 13%; cool-site vineyards near Whitehall farm in Elgin; grown in white mineral sandstone and quartz on clay subsoils; grapes whole cluster pressed; 100% barrel fermented in 30% new, 228L French oak barrels and balance in 2nd and 3rd used barrels; 30% of wine completed malolactic fermentation; aged 9 months in 228L French oak barrels.

Technical Information
  • 100% Chardonnay
  • Alcohol: 13%
  • Total Acidity: 6.8 g/l
  • pH: 3.26
  • Residual Sugar: 2.1 g/l


91 Points

Sliced apples and pears with lemon curd, honeysuckle and stones. Medium- to full-bodied with crisp, lively acidity and impressive tension. Bright and juicy fruit character and flavorful finish. Sustainable. Drink now., November, 2022

Gold Medals Points

International Wine Challenge:

Wine News, May, 2022

90 Points

Round and juicy, with glazed yellow apple and pear fruit enlivened by tangy acidity. Features flashes of oak spices, vanilla and lime blossoms that will appeal to fans of a richer Chardonnay style. Reveals a tang of salinity that chimes on the finish, alongside a subtle chopped hazelnut note. Drink now.

Wine Spectator, May, 2023

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