Wine of Origin Cederberg

This secluded block of vines at an extreme altitude of 940m ASL form an oasis of order and calm amidst the vast, wild and rocky expanse of the stark Cederberg Plateau.

Winemaker: Jean Smit
Cultivar: 100% Syrah
Origin: Cederberg
Tasting notes:

This wine’s striking magenta colour is firm promise of the vibrant fruit to come. From a mountainous vineyard situated 940-metres above sea level, the wine expresses its lofty origins in high-toned aromatics. Tiny budding roses, the seductive smoke of violets, lavender, sour cherries, and cranberries run along a warming white pepper seam. The palate features a luminous intensity of vivid red fruit; a riot of plums and cherries wrapped in paper-thin tannins. Hands-off winemaking (natural yeasts, large format oak) assures the transcendent nature of the wine remains intact. A cool line of mineral acidity traces through, tugging some fynbos spice into a refreshing, plummy finish


This vineyard was planted in 2006 on the oldest farm in the Cederberg (founded in 1790). The stark sandstone soils of the plateau are stretched over a ferricrete sublayer. The vines that make up the vineyard are SH22 clones, grafted onto R99 rootstock.

The average rainfall in the area is a fairly low (roughly 600-700mm per annum), while the diurnal range is incredibly high (an average difference of 12˚C between day and night). The high diurnal range slows down the ripening process and delivers fruit with supreme balance between natural acidity and the intense flavour, colour and tannin.

In winter, the north-western winds blow in from Elandsbaai (80km away on the West Coast), bringing the rain. In summer, the cooling southeast winds blow from the Ceres-Plateau. The Cape leopard still roams in this region and, on Jean’s first visit to the farm, he spotted a huge male (they can reach an average weight of 35kg) crossing the road less than 30m from him.


Syrah from the Cederberg plateau has massive intensity and therefore one needs to take one’s foot off the pedal in the winery to achieve wines that are balanced. The higher level of natural tannins in the fruit meant that only 30 to 60% of the fruit was fermented as whole clusters, depending on the parcel. The rest of the fruit was de-stemmed and fermented as whole berries. Fermentation took place in tulip-shape concrete fermenters and 1000-litre conical-shaped French oak vats, with pump-overs being limited to a maximum of two per day during the peak of fermentation. The submerged-cap fermentation technique was used to soften the structure of the wine, while still showcasing the intensity of these high-altitude vineyards. All fermentations took place spontaneously, using only naturally occurring yeasts. Malolactic conversion occurred spontaneously, after which the wine was matured in 2000-litre conical Austrian oak vats for 11 months. The wine was bottled without fining to ensure a more complex and authentic expression of Syrah.


This wine will be at its most expressive within five years of vintage but, with careful cellaring, will continue to evolve and improve for more than a decade.


TOTAL PRODUCTION: 3490 x 750ml and 50 x 1500ml | BOTTLING DATE: 20 January 2022 | Alc: 13.44 % Vol | pH: 3.51 | TA: 5.2 g/L | RS: 1.3 g/L | VA: 0.47 g/L