When we were recommended Iona it was with the caveat that it was somewhat difficult to find. We happened upon the sign to the winery on the main road and took a chance detour. After following a dusty dirt road approximately 7 km uphill we arrived at the gates. The winery was empty and the tasting manager was out on other business. Luckily the accountant was on hand and was kind enough to present the wines free of charge. It is great to see all members of the team engaged in the product and eager to show off the wines.
Production at Iona is not diluted by too many different varieties or cuvees – they only list 4 wines – and it would appear this allows them to focus. Compared to other wineries this was a no frills tasting experience. There is no restaurant, art gallery, delicatessen: the wines are allowed to speak for themselves Hell, they don’t even need a paved road.
Pride of place in the tasting room goes to a vintage Porsche, owned and renovated by the proprietor. The car and wines both had a certain ‘Je ne sais quoi‘, the sense of something classic, elegant and refined. I suspect much is of this is the result of cool climate and high altitude as well as diligent winemaking practice.
I would certainly visit again if in South Africa, and I will certainly be getting hold of some of the wines of Iona here in the UK. Indeed, based on our pretty small sample, the wines of Elgin include some real gems at very competitive prices. Unfortunately the Chardonnay was out of stock at the time of our visit, although I understand it is also very well regarded.
Wines Tasted: Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Pinot Noir 2013, One Man Band 2010