Wine of Origin Franschhoek

The La Chataigne Vineyard, on the banks of the Franschhoek river, is one of South Africa’s oldest Sémillon blocks, consisting of bush vines planted as early as 1942.

100% Sémillon
Winemaker: Jean Smit
Cultivar: 100% Sémillon
Origin: Franschhoek
Tasting notes:

A gradual crescendo of aromas begins with savoury flint and sea spray, leading into the herbal notes of fynbos, white peach, and dried apricot. Over time, these elements evolve, introducing ripe cling peach, tangerine, and pineapple. The palate is both supremely weighted and textured; managing to marry juicy citrus with structured chalky dryness. Its broad entry carries creamy lemon curd elements, alongside ripe stone fruit, and juicy Sicilian blood orange. The finish carries hints of baked apple and cardamom. Being an old vine wine, this is a beauty that reveals itself over time. If you have the restraint, drink this wine over a few days to see how it evolves.


These ancient bush vines come from two separate blocks. The first block was planted in this block decomposed Table Mountain sandstone. The second block was planted in 1962 amongst the foothills of Franschhoek Mountain, with a much rockier subsoil. Roughly 15 percent of the vines have naturally morphed into the rare Semillon Gris mutation.


The vineyards were harvested by hand on 11 and 16 February 2022. The fruit was picked at 22.5-22.8˚B before being chilled overnight at 8˚C. In the cellar, whole clusters were sorted and pressed with a delicate champagne-cycle, and allowed to settle overnightNo enzymes were added during pressing, and minimal sulphur was used throughout vinification. 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 wine was transferred to 1000L Austrian oak foudres, followed by 11 months of sur lie maturation. This wine features some truly outstanding natural acidity, so we prevented malolactic conversion, as this would only serve to obscure that brightness. We also refrained from any batonnage (for the same reason).


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


TOTAL PRODUCTION 2150 x 750ml and 50 x 1.5L | BOTTLING DATE 19 January 2023 | Alc: 13.21 % Vol | pH: 3.32 | TA: 5.7 g/L | RS: 3.55 g/L | VA: 0.73 g/L