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Chenin Blanc   |   Swartland - South Africa


Francois continues to produce one of the most outstanding values for South Africa’s most important grape. While being the country’s undisputed leading white grape, Chenin Blanc still has an ‘underdog’ personality as it pales in global importance to Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and even Riesling. A shame, truly. Since its first vintage, the Underdog has been a single-vineyard wine with a focus on drinkability, showing the elegance that is possible from select Swartland sites. The 2023 comes from a single site near Riebeek-Kasteel where vines are planted on granite with decomposed Table Mountain sandstone. It was a challenging vintage with unseasonable amount of mid-vintage rain, but luckily, this came after the picking of the white grapes. The fruit was delicate with marginally lower acidity than normal, yet the pH was unaffected.

The grapes were hand-harvested in late-February and whole-bunch pressed to stainless steel and concrete where the lots underwent spontaneous fermentation. All portions aged in concrete vessels for 8 months on the primary lees. The lots were then blended in tank and bottled with a coarse filtration, bentonite fining, and dosage of sulfur.


  • Grapes: 100% Chenin Blanc
  • Vineyard: A single vineyard near Riebeek-Kasteel
  • Vine Age: 28-35-years-old
  • Soil Type: Granite with decomposed Table Mountain sandstone
  • Viticulture: Sustainable – dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native – stainless-steel & concrete (whole-bunch pressed)
  • Skin Contact: None
  • Aging: 8 months on primary lees in concrete
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Residual Sugar: 1.8 g/L
  • pH: 3.55
  • Total Acidity: 4.8 g/L
  • Total SO2: 105 ppm
  • Total Production: 583 cases
  • UPC: 6009879826036

Tasting Note

Tightly structured, featuring flavors of yellow apple and subtle notes of apricot, accented by a granitic mineral quality. The palate offers crisp acidity balanced by a round fruitiness and a savory finish.

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