Our Semillon is made from Certified Old Vine Vineyards, among some of the oldest vineyards in South Africa. These Franschhoek Semillon vineyards have acclimated to the harsh conditions and alluvial soils in which they grow, producing unique wines with intense depth and complexity. The deep root system and high skin to pulp ratio of these old vineyards produce intensely complex, well-structured wines with unbelievable ageing potential.
Two of the vineyards used for our Semillon planted 1902, and 1942 are unirrigated bushvines growing on little to no slope in the ancient Franschhoek Riverbed. Both these vineyards are well established in alluvial soils with a high loam content. The third vineyard planted 1936, is located further up the valley on 45-degree south-facing slope on decomposed granite and quartz. Some of the vines within all these vineyards have naturally mutated from Semillon to Semillon Gris which have a slight red hue and higher skin-to-pulp ratio. The Semillon Gris vines naturally require more time to ripen and are harvested during a second picking. We opted to use a small portion of Muscat d’Alexandrie, planted 1902, to enhance the wine’s aromatic character.
The 2018 Semillon vintage had excellent growing conditions with a good set and even ripening, delivering healthy fruit – ideal for creating rich wines with concentration and structure. The Semillon Gris and Semillon Blanc ripened more evenly than previous vintages with little to no extreme weather conditions during the harvest period. We are incredibly excited about this vintage; the wine shows excellent structure without being overly phenolic and therefore more expressive in its youth than previous vintages.
Grapes are whole bunch pressed and spontaneously fermented in 225L classic barriques and concrete eggs. Maturation occurs at low temperatures, without sulphur additions, for 14 months in 70% new French Oak barriques and 30% in concrete eggs. This oxidative approach at low temperatures enables us to enhance our old vine Semillon’s textural elements, creating structure in a wine that can certainly stand the test of time. The Muscat’d Alexandrie is skin-fermented and matured in clay amphora.