Iona is the coolest vineyard in the Cape, 420m above sea-level, high above the picturesque Elgin Valley.
Iona is surrounded by the Kogelberg Nature Reserve and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean in the South. In a country where cool sites are precious, these vineyards are like gold — the grapes ripening up to two months later than other Cape vineyards and in perfect balance.
Climate is the most important influence on the quality and style of wine that an area can produce. The world’s greatest table wines traditionally come from the cool to intermediate temperature climates. (The Oxford Companion to Wine – Jancis Robinson)
Temperature is widely considered as the most important climatological factor affecting grapevines, although other factors such as sunlight (just enough), rainfall (not too much in the ripening months), humidity (too high results in disease pressure) and wind (moderate winds discourage disease) are also important.
Iona’s close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean in the South, it’s varying aspects and altitudes results in a mesoclimate (the climate of a particular vineyard site) similar to the cool to intermediate classification, with average temperatures of 16,5 °C. ie
Temperature (Ave October to April): Less than 16,0°C
Best suited grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Burgundy
Temperature: 16,0°C to 18,5°C
Best suited grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux/Shiraz, Northern Rhone, Sauvignon Blanc
In addition, the temperatures in the last months of ripening March and April, at Iona are marginally warmer than Burgundy, on average 17,4°C and 15,3°C respectively, resulting in low pH, good acidity and moderate sugar levels with harmonious flavour compounds which produce balanced wines of distinction.
Iona’s close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the prevailing southerly winds that sweep over the farm are a moderating influence and result in minor vintage variation and consequently consistent quality.