Ashbourne is a small Pinotage, Pinotage blend and Sauvignon blanc blend specialist, founded in 1996 by Anthony Hamilton Russell and located on a beautiful 64 hectare property in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley on the eastern border of Hamilton Russell Vineyards.
Ashbourne’s primary aim is for its founding wine - the Ashbourne Pinotage (maiden vintage 2001) to belong firmly in the company of the world’s great benchmarks, without in any way replicating them or seeking to taste like them. The wine is seen more as an expression of the character of the cool maritime site and ancient extremely clay-rich soils, than of the grape variety.
In 2012, the Ashbourne Sauvignon blanc/Chardonnay was released. This unwooded blend of 80% Sauvignon blanc and 20% Chardonnay is made from grapes sourced in the Hemel-en-Aarde area and Walker Bay, and is released in the year of production for tightness and freshness. The Sauvignon blanc is grown on quartzitic sandstone soils, which emphasise the nervous energy and minerality of the variety. The Chardonnay gives additional depth and texture to the wine without competing with the aromatic profile of the Sauvignon blanc.
In 2017, the Ashbourne Pinotage/Cinsault was released. This lower alcohol unwooded blend of 80% Pinotage and 20% Cinsault is made from grapes sourced from old vineyards in the Swartland appellation, for an open generosity of palate in the year of production. The richness and depth of the Pinotage is freshened by the lightness and brightness of the Cinsault.
Ashbourne was identified as one of South Africa’s 4 “producers on the cutting edge” in the Wine Spectator and earned a place on their Top 100 most exciting wines of the year.
The property is named after Anthony’s great, great grandfather Lord Ashbourne who was Lord Chancellor of Ireland in the late 1800’s.