Elgin is the coolest wine region in South Africa, well below Stellenbosch and other well-known wine regions of the Western Cape.
Essentially temperatures rarely go above 35°C and generally one wakes up to an agreeably cool day, occasionally swirling in sea-borne mists. Typically, in February, the hottest month of the year, we have cool nights with temperatures dipping to 14°C, a morning of 16°C and beautiful clear days peaking at about 23°C. The grapes simply love it, but sometimes the family are not so enthusiastic!
The benefit of cooler climates is that the grape cluster stays connected to its roots for longer, developing more characteristics and achieving physiological ripeness more gradually with lower sugar levels and consequently lower alcohols. The resultant wines leave one with an impression of delicacy, but also power and insistence over warmer-climate examples, which show bolder but less-persistent flavours.