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Mother Rock



Red Blend   |   Swartland - South Africa


The ‘Holocene’ is the current geological epoch in which the world find itself. It began roughly 11,650 years ago and is characterized by rapid proliferation and the evolution of humankind. Stompie aptly named this wine ‘Holocene’ as it is man’s (his) interpretation of showcasing planted grapes from much older geological epochs, blending across three different varieties. The grapes come from three vineyards in the Paardeberg region, between Paarl and Malmesbury and one further west of Malmesbury towards Darling. The vineyards were planted between 1973 and 1984, in very wide rows and organically, dryland farmed.

Grapes were manually harvested in the early morning during cooler weather at 22.1 Balling from the middle to the end of February. They were placed into lug boxes and transported back to the cellar for processing. The Cinsault juice was pressed onto dry Carignan skins and to achieve better acid and color concentration. The wine fermented whole-cluster at 30 degrees for about 10 days and then spent another 22 days post-ferment on the skins for tannin integration. Aging was done for 11 months on the gross lees in old French oak, after which the wine was blended and bottled. No filtering or fining and just a 21 ppm addition of sulfur.



  • Grapes: 50% Carignan - 43% Mourvèdre - 7% Cinsault
  • Vineyard: Three sites in the Swartland: (Paardeberg – eastern Malmesbury – between Darling and Malmesbury)
  • Vine Age: 39-49-years-old
  • Soil Type: Decomposed but rocky granite with Malmesbury shale (Cinsault & Mourvèdre) – Ironstone & Clay (Carignan)
  • Viticulture: Practicing Organic – dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native – open top in plastic fermenters (100% whole-bunch - 10 days of pigeage)
  • Skin Contact: 32 days: 10 days during fermentation - 22 days post-fermentation
  • Aging: 11 months in old French oak barrels
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • pH: 3.56
  • Total Acidity: 6.1 g/L
  • Total SO2: 21 ppm
  • Total Production: 445 cases

Tasting Note

The nose opens with an expressive bouquet of black pepper, raspberry, black currant, and za’atar. The acidity is bright, the fruit is pure, and the tannins are powdery and fine. This is easy-drinking yet contemplative wine.

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