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Thorne & Daughters


‘Cat’s Cradle’

Chenin Blanc   |   Swartland - South Africa


Swartland Chenin blanc needs no introduction, having long assumed its place among the world’s key expressions of Chenin blanc. Langkloof, where John sources the grapes for this wine is an old bush vine Chenin Blanc vineyard planted on the granite slopes of the Paardeberg that belongs to the Rossouw family. The vineyard is situated between parcels owned by Eben Sadie and Chris Alheit, which says something about its aptitude for greatness. John has worked with this vineyard for a few years but never had enough fruit to bottle a varietal Chenin Blanc, until 2017, making 2021 the 5th vintage of this cuvée.

As with all of the wines…the winemaking is pretty simple. Handpicked, whole bunch basket-pressed direct to old French barrels, larger ones in this case, with the gross lees. No sulfur addition and fermentation kicks off naturally with ML following right after.  A tiny hit of sulfur is added in the winter for light protection and then the wine ages for nine months.  After this maturation time the barrels are racked to tank where the wine settles naturally and it is bottled with crossflow filtration and just a small sulfur addition. No fining.


  • Grapes: 100% Chenin Blanc
  • Vineyard: Two blocks off of Langkloof Vineyard - farmed by Scholtz Roussouw (Aprilskloof, Paardeberg)
  • Vine Age: 42-years-old
  • Soil Type: Weathered schist with sandy loam
  • Viticulture: Sustainable - dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native – whole-bunch pressed to two old French demi-muids
  • Skin Contact: None
  • Aging: 9 months in neutral 228L French oak barrels
  • Alcohol: 12%
  • pH: 3.22
  • Total Acidity: 7 g/L
  • Total SO2: 64 ppm
  • Total Production: 117 cases
  • UPC: 606110152433

Tasting Note

The wine shows aromas of lemon balm, apple blossom, exotic waxes and honey. A textured palate is lifted by bright acidity and a wet stone freshness with a long finish.

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