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Thorne & Daughters


‘Rocking Horse’

Cape White Blend   |   Western Cape - South Africa


Rocking Horse is the cornerstone Thorne & Daughters wine blend and takes its name from a wooden rocking horse that John and Tasha made for their daughters out of old oak barrel staves. It is the perfect example of wholeness and totality in a wine. The wine is composed from a number of carefully selected vineyard sites in the Western Cape. This year (2021), Roussanne surpassed Sémillon  as the the primary component and comes from the granitic soils of Stellenbosch and iron-rich shale soils of the Voor-Paardeberg. The Sémillon is entirely from the original site in Franschhoek this vintage. Nearly equal parts of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay come from the Paardeberg and high altitude reaches of the Ceres Plateau respectively. Finishing up the blend is a splash of Clairette Blanche from the Paardeberg.

The harvesting challenge in 2021 was the same as it is every year; with grapes coming from far and wide, the key is to harvest all the blocks at the right time and then get them back to the cellar in perfect condition. The grapes were handpicked and fermented separately without inoculation in barrels of various sizes (228L, 300L, 400L, 500L, and 600L). A bit of skin contact was employed on the Clairette for intensity of flavor and aroma and all the ferments were on full solids. After nine months the wines were racked to a blending tank to settle where they are bottled with a small addition of sulfur and a crossflow filtration.


  • Grapes: 32% Roussanne - 29% Sémillon - 19% Chardonnay - 16% Chenin Blanc - 4% Clairette Blanche
  • Vineyard: Stellenbosch/ Voor Paardeberg (Roussanne) - Franschhoek (Sémillon) - Ceres Plateau (Chardonnay) - Swartland (Chenin Blanc & Clairette)
  • Vine Age: Roussanne (14-years) - Sémillon (39-years) - Chardonnay (8-years) - Chenin Blanc (42-years) - Clairette (38-years)
  • Soil Type: Decomposed Granite - Iron-rich shale - Alluvial - Sandstone
  • Viticulture: Sustainable – dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native – neutral French barrels
  • Skin Contact: 5 days (Clairette)
  • Aging: 9 months on the lees in neutral French barrels
  • Alcohol: 13.1%
  • pH: 3.31
  • Total Acidity: 6.0 g/L
  • Total SO2: 63 ppm
  • Total Production: 1,000 cases
  • UPC: 700083680969

Tasting Note

A layered and complex nose reveals golden kiwi fruit, mace, apple skin and shy florals, leading into a rounded, rich palate of honeyed nougat with a long taut, slightly saline finish.

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