This wine is dedicated to a group of 30 Italian Immigrants that came to South Africa in the mid
1800 to start a silk industry near Knysna. They were highly skilled and came from the northern Italian town of
Como, many of them from families that have been silkworm farmers and silk weavers for generations. They
were coaxed to South Africa by the Colonial Government on the insistence of Lord Barrington with promises
of land, free passage, and the existence of a Mulberry forest in the Gouna hills near Knysna. Little did they
know that the wild Mulberry trees were totally unsuitable for silkworm farming and that the area they were
located to, was untamed forest, full of Elephants and other wildlife. They were devastaded, but in spite of not
getting further help from the government and having spent all their savings, they persevered, with many
ending up having to work as loggers, wood workers etc in order to survive, making their exceptionally soft
hands, a requisite for the silk trade, into hard callous hands used for hard labour. Like the Robollini’s, many of their progeny today still live in the Knysna area.
Sangiovese, the classical Italian red grape variety derives its name from the Latin
Sangius Jovis, meaning “the blood of Jupiter”. This wine is a rare Stellenbosch interpretation of the medium-
bodied Sangiovese grape. On the nose, the wine shows dark berry fruit and a warm glowing hint of spice.
Flavours abound displaying warm cedar wood, black cardamom and a rich mulberry finish that lingers
lusciously on the palate. Well-rounded, grippy tannins make for a wine which is accessible now, but with enough structure and balance to age and reward well in years to come.
The soil the vineyard is planted in, is made up of decomposed granite over clay and on the
lower south western slopes of the Helderberg Mountain. This vineyard enjoyed the refreshingly cool breezes
from False Bay (Atlantic Ocean) during the day and cool night air flowing down the mountain, resulting in
even ripening of the berries and good natural acidity. The macro climate is maritime, with cold wet winters and dry, warm summers.
The hectare single vineyard vines are meticulously cared for by hand to ensure maximum
quality. It is grown on a unique Italian trellising system called “Pergola or Tendone”, typical and traditional in
many parts of Italy. The fruit was hand picked on the 6 th of March 2017 in small lug boxes to ensure that perfect and undamaged grapes reached the cellar.
At the winery it was twice selected and sorted to ensure only the best berries made it to
the fermentation vessel. Extraction happens by way of pigeage, or by hand punching down the cap of the
fermenting grapes into the juice. This is carefully monitored to prevent over-extraction. The wine was
fermented naturally or without the use of commercial yeast, no fining agents, and no filtration. This wine was
matured in French oak barrels for 15-16 months and is ready for drinking now but will continue to develop over the next eight years. We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving.
Number of bottles produced – 1100
Winemaker –Jasper Raats
“I dedicate this wine to another Italian immigrant, legendary winemaker and pioneer, Giorgio Dalla Cia.”
Alc: 14.26% ; RS: 1.9 g/l ; TA: 6.2 g/l ; pH: 3.46
93/100 Tim Atkin
Download the tasting note
Click here to download the Silk Weaver Sangiovese tasting note