Franco’s father (Howard John) gave the seed money gift and the unwavering support that would ultimately become Lourens Family Wines and Franco knew his first wine already had a name and label. The 2020 edition of Howard John was the first made in the new shed that Franco shares with Lukas Van Loggerenberg, and 2021 continued as such. The new space afforded Franco the ability to really take his time with ferments and bring fruit in at different times. The vineyards are all dry-farmed bushvine sites in the Swartland. The Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah are from the Eikelaan, Fairview, and Uitvlught farms, respectively.
The grapes were all hand-picked and sorted before spontaneous fermentation took place in open top fermenters. The Grenache was fermented with 25% stems, the Cinsault was 100% de-stemmed, and the Syrah was 100% with stems. Gentle hand plunging during the first week and foot stomping the second week was the extent of the extraction methods and after a total of 10-14 days on skins the lots were pressed to old French tonneau for aging. Following ten months of maturation the barrels were racked to tank and the wine settled naturally. It was bottled without fining and just a coarse filtration and a small sulfur addition.