Thistle and Weed is a collaboration between the Terblanche and Wiid families established in 2015, led by Etienne Terblanche (Viticulturist) and Stephanie Wiid (Winemaker). Inspired by the encroaching weeds found amongst the vines grown in the Cape, Etienne and Steph draw parallels between thistles and weeds and the uncompromising tenacity and survival skills of grapevines. Each wine is dedicated to one of their favorite nuisances, using the colloquial Afrikaans term for each, reminding the drinker that these wines are unapologetically Kaaps (Cape Wines). Together, Etienne and Steph set out to discover the best of the Cape’s hidden gems, intent on crafting honest wines that are made with a deep connection to nature and offer the most simple expression of the terroir from which they come.
“The vineyards lie at the heart of what we are trying to achieve,” said Etienne. “They offer us the opportunity to showcase the unrivaled beauty and sheer expanse of the Cape, our home.” Working closely with a handful of growers they’ve set out to uncover some extraordinary parcels. Each parcel has its own rhythm and special community of weeds. Ultimately the plants naturally occurring in a place tell you a lot about the history, soil, climate and season. “At Thistle & Weed, we like to keep things simple in the winery in order to best express each vineyard’s story. For our white wines, we use whole bunch pressing and natural fermentation in older French oak barrels to best preserve freshness and purity of fruit. When it comes to our red wines, we opt for a combination of de-stemmed whole berries, crushed berries and whole bunches which ferment in open-top tanks and mature in older French oak barrels,” said Stephanie. The range of three single origin Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc showcase terroir from Stellenbosch, Paarl and the Swartland. The two blends ‘Khakibos’ and ‘Nastergal’ are inspired by Iberian wines and are an exploration into cultivars adapted to drought, changing climates and extreme conditions.