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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 and is composed of a number of carefully selected vineyard sites throughout the Western Cape. This year (2022), Sémillon is the major grape in the blend, followed by an almost equal part of Roussanne, and then smaller parts of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Clairette Blanche. As 2022 marks their decennial vintage, Rocking Horse continues to be what wine writer Christian Eedes calls “something of an institution” as one of the best-value Cape White Blend offerings on the market today.

The harvesting challenge in 2022 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). All the ferments were on full solids, and there was no skin contact this year. 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: 35% Sémillon - 28% Roussanne - 14% Chenin Blanc - 13% Chardonnay - 10% Clairette Blanche
  • Vineyard: Stellenbosch/ & Voor Paardeberg (Roussanne) - Franschhoek & Swartland (Sémillon) - Swartland (Chenin Blanc) - Ceres Plateau (Chardonnay) - Worcester (Clairette)
  • Vine Age: 10-60-years-old
  • Soil Type: Decomposed Granite - Iron-rich shale - Alluvial - Sandstone
  • Viticulture: Sustainable
  • Fermentation: Native – neutral French barrels (228-600 L)
  • Aging: 9 months on the lees in neutral French barrels
  • Alcohol: 13.2%
  • pH: 3.28
  • Total Acidity: 6.4 g/L
  • Total SO2: 65 ppm
  • Total Production: 1,500 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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