Wine of Origin Swartland

Given the size of the Swartland appellation, there is, understandably a fairly wide array of expressions when it comes to the nature of its Chenin Blanc.

100% Chenin Blanc
Winemaker: Jean Smit
Cultivar: 100% Chenin Blanc
Origin: Swartland
Tasting notes:

A blend of two mountainous Swartland vineyards planted as far back as 1979. An opening of lime leaf, oatmeal, apricot, crushed apple seed, and flint, gives way to sweeter elements of cling peach, mango, and pineapple pulp, as the wine warms in the glass. Likewise on the palate, this impressively textured old vine rendition starts out quite tightly wound; brimming with crisp, textured green apple skin and lime cordial, only to slowly soften into riper stone fruit notes. It manages all this without ever losing that intensely pure green apple acidity that runs through the core from front to back.


Given the size of the Swartland appellation, there is, understandably a fairly wide array of expressions when it comes to the nature of its Chenin Blanc. That said, the two themes that dominate the conversation around what defines a Swartland Chenin Blanc are the region’s characteristic vibrant acidity and its pronounced concentration and texture. The Damascene Swartland Old Vine Chenin Blanc is a blend of fruit from two sites that communicate these elements with impressive clarity. The first site is situated on a hilltop on the north-western extreme of the Paardeberg. It contributes to a sense of steeliness, and acidic grip in the final wine. The second vineyard was established a few meters lower, on the north-facing slope of this mystical mountain, and it features old bush vines planted on decomposed granite, laid over a clay-rich subsoil. The fruit from these old vines adds to the intense concentration of the wine.


The vineyards were harvested by hand during the second week of February 2022. The fruit was picked at 21.0 – 21.9˚B before being chilled overnight at 8˚C. In the cellar, whole clusters were hand-sorted and pressed with a delicate champagne-cycle. No enzymes were added during pressing, and minimal sulphur was used throughout vinification. The fruit from each vineyard was fermented and matured separately, and it is only during final blending that it is decided how much of each component will make it into the final wine. The fruit was pressed, and juice was allowed to settle overnight. No commercial yeasts were added during fermentation, as only native yeasts were involved in the making of our wines. Roughly 30% of the way through fermentation, the grape must was transferred to 1000L oval Austrian foudres, followed by 11 months of sur lie maturation. To preserve the truly outstanding natural acidity, we prevented malolactic conversion, as this would only serve to obscure that brightness. We also refrained from any batonnage.


This wine will be at its most expressive within three to five years of vintage but, with careful cellaring, will continue to evolve and improve for up to a decade. With extended bottle ageing, expect the tertiary flavours to intensify, showing the true quality of old vine Chenin Blanc.


Total production: 3700 x 750ml and 50 x 1.5L

Bottling date: 16 January 2023

Alc: 12.92 % Vol

pH: 3.29

TA: 5.9 g/L

RS: 2.7 g/L

VA: 0.51 g/L