The Ellerman House Terroir Wall is one of the centrepieces in the Ellerman House Wine Gallery and is a work of art all on it’s own. The wall is a map of the terroir taken from 100 local wine farms divided into regions like Stellenbosch, Paarl, Durbanville, Robertson and Franschhoek.
Angus Taylor, local sculptor and artist, has been working with rammed earth for a couple of years and felt that it was appropriate to incorporate an element of it in the Wine Gallery. Soil samples were dug out from more than a metre below the surface from the chosen 100 wine farms. The middle and top soil was then catalogued, packed and couriered to a central point where the samples were rammed into copper frames engraved with the name of the farm and the GPS co-ordinates of the soil sample hole. The soil resembles a puzzle of the winelands and guests are encouraged to touch and feel the terroir. ‘I do not know of any other ‘map’ that is actually made from the soil that it represents. Nowhere else can one see, touch and smell the foundation of the wine, the terroir,’ says Taylor.
Like many aspects of the project, it was a collaborative effort, thanks to the input of many dedicated people, involving soil scientists, the team who painstakingly collected the 100 soil samples, and the artisans who produced the rammed-earth presentation within the copper frames to form a living ‘map’ of the Cape winelands. ‘It is not only a thing of beauty but of humility, commitment, understanding and passion for what is real, true, simple, enduring and essential,’ concludes Taylor.
Guests staying at Ellerman House are invited for wine and tapas tastings with our Sommelier, where the wine can be compared with the different regions and guests are often stunned by the difference in aroma and taste of wine from farms that are right next to each other. This is a space where wine becomes art and guests can experience the processes that go into the terroir and the effect that is has on the wine.
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