Sebastian was born in Bot River soon after his family bought the old wine farm, then called Compagnes Drift, in 1974. After escaping the thriving metropolis for a few years of travel and study, Sebastian returned to join the wine business in 1999. His passion for Chenin Blanc, Pinotage, Syrah and Mourvèdre have driven the focus of the wines. This has resulted in him creating one of the benchmark Chenin Blanc’s in South Africa, the Beaumont Hope Marguerite! Producing wines that proudly express their Bot River origin is key to Sebastian’s philosophy.
Using very simple winemaking techniques of natural fermentation in concrete fermenters and mostly older oak he is able to capture the purity and character of some of the 40 year old vines. Sebastian, together with his wife Nici, will be taking the family business into the future.
This is the second version of a whole bunch fermentation that I have put in bottle. The first one was made in 2011, the year that my son Leo was born. Since then I have experimented with this style of wine every year. The 2017 is the first vintage I thought should go into bottle.
The grapes were in perfect condition. The wine spent 8 days fermenting on the skins, was then pressed off and taken to barrel for the end of fermentation. Matured on gross lees for 18 months in a new barrel.
Mourvèdre is a fantastically misunderstood grape. We have been producing single varietal Mourvèdre since 1999 at Beaumont. This was my first attempt at doing 100% whole cluster natural fermentation with the grape. I produced one 400 litre barrel of this wine. It was fantastic from the start and I thought this would be a great wine to submit as my Guild offering. I think 2016 was the perfect vintage in Bot River for this kind of winemaking. Elegance, fruit, freshness and purity sum this wine up.
I have only made a demi-sec style of Chenin once before. The Loire has always made
beautiful demi-sec styles. The grapes came from our oldest vines planted in 1974. The natural fermentation didn’t fi nish completely dry in this one barrel so I decided to keep it like this and bottle it as a potential wine for my CWG offering. I love the way it expresses the grapes’ purity with that slight bit of residual that makes the wine more complex and layered.
Since 2010 I have been bulk filtering the solids of my Chenin juice. This is the 2015 version.
I always found fascinating herbal, acidic gritty flavours in these solids. So with the help of
a bulk filter I cleaned up this juice and then fermented it in barrel for about seven months.
Occasionally winemaking experiments produce something amazing. I love the Afrikaans
description for when something is amazing it’s, “Moerse”! This was a “moerse lekker”
portion of lees (also known as “moer” in Afrikaans).