Franco wanted to get experimental and he rang his friends at his friendly US importer to ask if they would be interested in blindly buying all of his first experiment. Having full faith in Franco’s skills given his impressive catalog it was an easy answer. ‘Proefkonyn’ is the Afrikaans term for ‘guinea pig’ and representative of the experimental nature of this side-brand of Lourens Family. For the first iteration Franco used a bit of fruit from the 35-year-old vine Chenin on the Paardeberg which is a parcel of the ‘Lindi Carien’ blend. Going a bit Jurgen/Stompie he sought to really show the intensity of the site via extended skin maceration. There will be future releases under the guinea pig moniker
The grapes were hand-harvested overnight and placed into small lug boxes then brought back to the winery where they were carefully destemmed but not crushed. The grapes were then placed into a single small one ton fermenter where spontaneous fermentation occurred. The grapes were broken up by foot on the second day and from that point forward it was simply wetting the cap to keep the ferment going and protect the wine once dry. After three weeks the wine was pressed to a single 500L neutral French demi-muid with the full gross lees. After nine months the wine was bottled directly from barrel without fining or filtration and just a small addition of sulfur.