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Thorne & Daughters


‘Paper Kite’

Old Vine Sémillon   |   Swartland - South Africa


One of the key heritage varieties in South Africa is Sémillon, a grape variety that the modern wine industry was practically built on, but which now finds itself nearly obsolete. There are still a number of incredible, old Sémillon vineyards and John continues to focus on those sites. ‘Paper Kite’ is his expression of old vine Sémillon, and is sourced from the 56-year-old Kweperfontein vineyard in the Paardeberg. These old clones of Sémillon (including a tiny amount of Semillon Gris dotted about) deliver an expression that is very much at odds with the modern, facile, aromatic clones. There is a pure vinosity to this wine; John & Tasha adore the rich and textural wines that the Paardeberg soils express on this grape.

The winemaking approach here is as simple as possible in order to produce the clearest expression of this vineyard site. Handpicked, whole bunch basket-pressed direct to a blend of old French oak barrels (228L – 600L) with the lees. Fermentation kicks off naturally with ML following right after. After six months in fermentation vessels, the barrels are racked to new 500L Stockinger barrels. They spend three months there before being racked to tank, and bottled with a crossflow filtration and sulfur dose. No fining.


  • Grapes: 95% Sémillon Blanc - 5% Sémillon Gris
  • Vineyard: Kweperfontein Vineyard on the Waterval Farm – farmed by Franziska Wickens
  • Vine Age: 58-years-old
  • Soil Type: Alluvial granitic soil
  • Viticulture: Practicing organic – dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native – whole-bunch pressed to old French oak barrels (228L - 600L mixed)
  • Skin Contact: None
  • Aging: 6 months in old, neutral oak then 3 months in new 500L Stockinger barrels
  • Alcohol: 12.9%
  • pH: 3.34
  • Total Acidity: 5.2 g/L
  • Total SO2: 45 ppm
  • Total Production: 208 cases
  • UPC: 606110152426

Tasting Note

The wine shows savory aromas of ginger, soft yellow fruit and wood spice. The palate is full and rounded with almond flesh and yellow melon notes and a finish of cape gooseberry.

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