Litmus Wines is introducing new wines from Mont Rochelle in South Africa for the UK market. The launch marks the first wines from the vineyard to hit the UK since the joint venture between Litmus and Virgin Limited Edition was formed 18 months ago.

The JV was established after the luxury international hotel collection acquired the renowned Mont Rochelle Hotel and Vineyards in Franschhoek at the heart of South African’s wine lands.

Litmus has been working with the vineyard’s resident winemaker with the aim or restoring and enhancing the reputation of Mont Rochelle as one of the Cape’s great wine producers.

The new wines fall into three main tiers: Little Rock, Mont Rochelle and Miko. Meanwhile, the Museum Collection of matured wines, beginning with “some little gems” from the 2009 harvest, has also been launched and will continue to be made in limited quantities and labelled with the traditional Mont Rochelle blue labels.

The Mont Rochelle range is a varietal range that highlights the grape variety and the site. It comprises a Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

The limited edition Miko range is the flagship of the estate and is named after the former owner who first recognised Mont Rochelle’s winemaking potential. These wines are almost always blends; the producer said these are made from “the best parcels of fruit” and are designed for long-term ageing.

John Worontschak, Litmus Wines’ director and founder, said: “This is truly a boutique range from a lovely little winery with just 80,000 handcrafted bottles produced each year from well-tended and low yielding vines.”

The first release of the Museum Collection of mature vintages includes a Mont Rochelle Shiraz 2009 and Mont Rochelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, both with extended ageing.

Worontschak said: “Miko himself was fond of cellaring his best wines for long periods so he and his hotel guests could enjoy them at maturity. We will continue to hold back limited quantities from every outstanding vintage to re-release for connoisseurs when they have reached their full potential.”