Semillon gris … done!

27 February 2013

It’s been a bit of a push to get to finish pressing the whites. The cellar has filled up and we have had to make sure that everyone gets the space that they need. I’m working with a great group of wine-focused people who always give the wine precedence and it has been a pleasure, despite some hard days.

I pressed off the Semillon gris on Sunday. This is a really old-school kind of winemaking, with the red and white Semillon grapes crushed together in the same tank. It was allowed to ferment naturally with no yeast inoculation, and I punched it down a couple of times a day to extract what little colour was there. And no, I’m not trying to make rosé here. This is something completely different.

Getting everything neatly ‘jugged’ into the press

I’m really blown-away by the potential of this wine. It doesn’t fit neatly into any style category, and is made from red Semillon grapes which are, as far as we know, almost unique to South Africa. It’s resting in barrel now, can’t wait to see how it develops.

6 Responses to “Semillon gris … done!”

  1. Marion Poynton

    Can’t wait to test drive this Semillon gris!!! Looks delicious already – gorgeous colour. See you soon for the cellar tour.

    • johnseccombe

      Can’t wait to show you guys through the barrels 🙂 The girls can’t wait to see you, so let us know when you’ve booked your flights.

  2. Nick Foskett

    Not quite unique to South Africa – we have a half hectare block of red Semillon on our vineyard in the Adelaide Hills (South Australia) that we recently purchased. We’re having a dessert wine made this year – still waiting to see how it comes out. Love to hear how your wine goes.

    • John Seccombe

      Hi Nick,
      I did find your wine when I was looking for other examples. Would love to swap some samples sometime in the future. Waiting to see if we get a good reception here and then do some tastings of people making wine from it. There are only about 5 of us here in SA that are making it and I think I’m one of two producers bottling it as a single varietal. Fascinating stuff. Will keep an eye on Top Note too. Hope your dessert wine goes well.

      • Nick Foskett

        Hi John.

        We have finally released our wine ( and we’re pretty happy with it. Thanks to cane cutting we have managed to retain some of the berry colour in the final product.

        We have also confirmed that we have the only remaining block of Red Semillon in South Australia (which almost certainly makes it the only one in Australia).


  3. John Seccombe

    Hi Nick,
    Great news on the release, and a super colour. Try as I might have, I haven’t really ended up with much colour in the wine. Then again, I did ferment on half Semillon blanc skins, so lost a lot there. Have found another small vineyard dedicated solely to Semillon gris, and will start working with it from 2014. Look forward to trading some bottles.
    Keep well,


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