Restless River Ava Marie Chardonnay 2021


Ava Marie is a single 2 Ha vineyard planted in 1999. Within the vineyard there are pockets with different soil structure and slightly different microclimates. All these different pockets are harvested at different times within a 2-3 week period. Craig says the vineyard creates it’s own building blocks naturally, which they are embracing each vintage. Each parcel is vinified separately, with specific 500L barrels or terracotta pots chosen for each picking. It sounds like a complicated process, but Craig is focused on having fun in the process and embracing vintage variation year after year.

A good expression of a marvelous vintage. Beautiful lime/lemon freshness, bit of flinty reductive note at this young age. Green melon, touch of nuttiness, oyster shell and crayfish with tight textured mouthfeel and a coated acidity on the finish. I just love this wine and hope enough people buy to put away for at least 5 years. This is a wine that will definitely only reveal all its layers over time. – Corlien’s notes

Tim Atkin MW: “I fell in love with Chardonnay through Chablis,” says Craig Wessels and you can see that influence here. Reflecting the coolness of the 2021 vintage, this is taut, focused, stony and engagingly mouth-watering, with effortless concentration, notes of brine, lanolin and lemon juice and extra layers of complexity from old barrels and amphoras. 2024-31.  96/100

2 in stock


Craig and Anne Wessels started planting vines in 1999 and since have become well known as one of the premium producers in the valley. The valley is well renowned for its cooler climate and the Wessels believe it is fundamental that their vines reflect this distinctive, marginal environment in which they grow; passing their unique characteristics onto the grapes, and ultimately, the wine.

Majority of planting happened from 2019 till 2022, with mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir being added to the existing vineyards. This is a huge investment and a lot of hard work. But for the Wessels family that’s what it’s about. Only the best goes into bottle, therefor the attention starts in the vineyard, from planting till maturity and eventually harvesting. Making sure that the best possible grapes end in the cellar so that the best possible wine can get to bottle after years of hard work.

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Restless River