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‘Sleeping Co-Pilot’

Viognier   |   Swartland - South Africa


In 2018 Jurgen was headed north in the early morning hours with his harvest intern to do a pick and the intern had one job to do…keep Jurgen awake. As Jurgen veered off the road and was abruptly woken up, he looked to his left and saw his intern deep into REM sleep. The name for the wine that was to come from this new vineyard was already created that early dawn, The Sleeping Co-Pilot! Jurgen worked harvest in Côte-Rôtie in 2010 and was amazed but a bit put off by the über-captivating aromatics of Viognier in Condrieu. Back home, when he found this block of Viognier on dense, red clay, north of Malmesbury he was intrigued, but also wanted to tame those heady, floral notes. His solution was to introduce whole-bunches and give it a bit of skin contact.

The fruit was hand-picked in early February and fermented without any additions entirely whole-cluster in open top small fermenters. Gently hand plunging ensued over two weeks and the lots were pressed directly a mix of old French barriques and tonneau to finish fermentation and for aging. After 10 months the barrels were racked to tank, settling naturally, and bottled without fining or filtration and just a small addition of sulfur dioxide.


  • Grapes: 100% Viognier
  • Vineyard: Kateelsig Vineyard’ – north of Malmebury
  • Vine Age: 18-years-old
  • Soil Type: Glenrosa red clay soils
  • Viticulture: Practicing Organic – drip irrigated
  • Fermentation: Native – open top stainless-steel (100% whole-cluster)
  • Skin Contact: 14 days
  • Aging: 10 months in neutral 300L and 500L French barrels
  • Alcohol: 11%
  • pH: 3.63
  • Total Acidity: 5.4 g/L
  • Total SO2: 20 ppm
  • Total Production: 150 cases

Tasting Note

A quite pronounced note of floral perfume (citrus blossom) and slight oxidative nuttiness on the nose. The palate is light and fresh, with good stone fruit character, zippy acidity, and some light phenolic grip on the finish.

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