Palomino is a white grape widely grown in Spain (particularly in the Jerez region), and best known for its use in the production of sherry. In Spain, the grape is split into the sub-varieties Palomino Fino, Palomino Basto, and Palomino de Jerez, of which Palomino Fino is by far the most important grape variety used for sherry. It is medium-sized, golden in color and produces large, loose clusters. It also has the least amount of malic acid of any other grape. Palomino ripens early and yields are generally high and regular and for all of these reasons it was planted in the Cape for brandy production over two hundred years ago. The variety is quite obscure today though as fate would have it Francois rediscovered a 90+-year old vineyard in Robertson. It was planted around the time Alfred Hitchcock released his first feature film, ‘The Pleasure Garden’ and Francois believed that aptly defined this vineyard. He took a chance with the variety in 2016 and continues to experiment to find the right expression. The ’20 remains as stunning as ever, creeping closer to the 100 year old mark and seeing a marginal increase in skin contact.
The fruit was harvested toward the end of March. Thirty percent of the grapes were crushed for a short pre-fermentation soak, while the other 70% were whole-bunch pressed directly to a single concrete egg, joining the skin contact lot. Here fermentation occurred without any additions and the shape of the egg allowed for a natural battonage of the lees with the juice. The wine aged for 14 months in concrete without any additions and was directly bottled without fining and with a coarse bulk filtration and dosage of sulfur.