The eye-catching label gracing each bottle of wine from the Survivor range of Overhex tells the story of a cow that jumped from a moving truck and found shelter amidst the Cabernet Sauvignon vines of this South African producer. Like the animal they were named after, the Overhex Survivor wines are free-spirited, adventurous and bold – offering an unparalleled expression of the once-abandoned Swartland region, the recently rediscovered and reawoken “back country” of the Western Cape.
Overhex Wines International was founded in 2007 and headquartered in the town of Worcester in the Western Cape region of South Africa. Originally known as a supplier of largely bulk wine, the company rapidly transformed its business model in recent years to adopt a value-adding approach. Focusing on quality and selling their wines in a packaged format allows the Overhex team to really give credit to the producers with whom they work. Today, the Overhex Group is the eighth largest exporter of South African wines.
What really sets Overhex Wines apart is the company’s market-driven approach to the creation and placement of their products. The Overhex team truly has its finger on the pulse of today’s global market trend, constantly seeking out information about what kind of products wine lovers around the world are looking for and trying to satisfy those demands by adding new wines to their range. Overhex is partnered with a wide variety of top vineyards all over the Cape Winelands, allowing them to pick and choose between various styles, varieties and terroir expressions. This results in the colorful kaleidoscope of flavors characterizing their range, as well as a freedom of style which allows them to respond readily to consumer trends.
The company puts quality first, making sure only the finest grapes are vinified in the presence of internationally acclaimed Head Winemaker Ben Snyman. The company is also associated with Fairtrade, with access to 20,000 tons of grapes for Fairtrade certified wines. The Overhex portfolio is founded upon three core brands - Balance, Mensa and Survivor – each of which has been very successful both locally and internationally, regularly winning awards around the world.
The Overhex Wines Survivor Swartland range includes four single-varietal wines produced from fruit grown in the Swartland region of South Africa. The colorful, eye-catching label tells the story of a Nguni cow (a special breed of cow from South Africa, easily recognized by its pigmented hide) who jumped from a truck passing the Overhex Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard and found shelter amidst the vines. The cow is said to have not only survived, but thrived and born offspring. Through the vibrant and distinctive wines making up the Survivor range, Overhex seeks to express the free-spirited nature embodied by that Nguni cow and of the Swartland terroir she chose as her home.
Today, the fruit for the Survivor wines is grown on two properties: the 79-hectare Constantia Farm and the 119-hectare Rustland Farm. This terroir is home to mostly Hutton and Oakleaf soils, with high water retention, providing the grapes with a longer window to reach an optimum level of ripeness. The vineyards are irrigated during dry seasons and heatwaves to help maintain a consistent quality despite the harsh character of the Swartland wine region. The vines are also arranged in a way to maximize the cooling effect of the Benguela sea breezes, making them some of the coolest winegrowing area in Swartland.
The Survivor Chenin Blanc is a single-varietal Chenin Blanc, fermented 30% in stainless steel tanks and 70% in new 500L untoasted Sylvain French oak barrels. The wine is matured in barrel for a period of four months before blending and bottling. This wine is beautifully fragrant, expressing apricot and peach aromas on the nose. On the finish, it is zesty, with fantastic oak integration and a fresh touch of lime zest on the finish. An excellent choice to pair with a creamy butternut soup, French onion tart or roast chicken.
The Survival Pinotage is a single-varietal Pinotage wine, produced with 24 hours of pre-fermentation maceration, followed by a fermentation of 4 to 6 days and malolactic fermentation in 300L medium-toast Vicard and Taransaud barrels, of which around 20% was new and the rest second or third fill. Around 95% of the barrels were of French oak and 5% of American oak, the latter of which adds a distinct fruit and vanilla component to the wine. The wine was matured for 15 months with only one racking before bottling. This is a gorgeous South African Pinotage wine with tons of prune, plum and red cherry flavor, along with touches of spice and cedar. Pair this wine with Gouda cheese, barbecue ribs, a juicy steak or a good book on a cool autumn evening.