Other recent vintages:  2021  

decomposed granite soil • dryland vineyard planted in 1987 • hand-picked on february 2, 2022 • vinified in old 300 liter barrels and clay amphorae • matured for 9 months on fine lees • bottled without fining or filtration • total so2 77 mg/l • some sedimentation may occur in bottle

  • South Africa    Coastal Region    Simonsberg
  • 100%
    Chenin Blanc
  • Alcohol
  • Certified sustainable
  • Harvest time
  • Natural wine
  • Oak
      9 months in old 300 liter barrels and clay amphorae
  • Organic in conversion
  • Production
      1900 bottles
  • Residual sugar
  • Soil
      Decomposed granite
  • Vegan
  • Vineyard aspect
  • Vineyard elevation
      250 meters
  • Vineyard planted
  • Vineyard size
  • Vineyard yield
  • Award
      91 points, Tim Atkin MW (2021 vintage)
  • Award
      92 points, Platter's South African Wine Guide (2021 vintage)

Hiking into the wild olive and stone pine forest above this Chenin Blanc vineyard, the presence of birdsong wafts across the vines, woven into the gentle breeze. The early farmers of the Simonsberg would have found this vineyard much as it is today, tucked at the top of the Southern Cross farm, nestled between the mountain and trees. The reason for a vineyard at this site speaks to the wisdom of old ways. Fed by sub-surface streams, the soil here is rich and the vines can access deep wells of water in the dry summer months. Chenin Blanc is a natural fit for this vineyard which rises above the valley and looks upon the snaking Berg River in the distance. Northeast exposure ensures early morning sunshine. The steep aspect of the slope and surrounding forest keeps the afternoon heat at bay. Birds love this vineyard. Franklin and guinea fowl nest in the surrounding grass. Shrikes, weavers, and bishops flitter from reed to reed in the nearby watercourse. Jackal buzzards soar majestically overhead on thermal eddies.

Working with this vineyard for the last decade, I have developed a deep respect for old vines. The vines yield little fruit, yet their age and large roots give the grapes intensity, complexity, and depth of flavour. The adaptation over years to the vineyard’s specific microclimate ensures consistency from vintage to vintage and buffers against seasonal stresses. The objective of the Simonskop Chenin Blanc is to accurately and faithfully preserve the fresh, naturalistic, and happy presence of this single vineyard into the bottle.