Silverthorn wines is nog een jonge en kleine wijnproducent. Zij houden zich als een van de wijnige in Zuid-Afrika, enkel bezig met het produceren van MCC (Methode CapClassique oftewel een Methode traditionel). Eigenaar en tevens wijnmaker John Loubser is onderdeel van de Cape Winemakers Guild en heeft jarenlang bij kwaliteits huizen zoals De Wetshof, Graham Beck en Steenberg gewerkt.
Sinds 2017 is hij volledig op zijn eigen plannen en dromen gaan focussen met het oprichten van Silverthorn. En sinds 2019 hebben zij hun eigen wijnhuis met kelder en proefruimte weten te realiseren in Robertson.
Het terroir van Silverthorn lijkt met haar rotsige, limoenrijke leisteen bodem op die van de Champagne. Daarnaast helpt ook de volwassenheid van haar wijnstokken om kwaliteitswijnen te produceren die wat weg hebben van de beste champagnes.
Het vertellen van verhalen en beelden bij elk product dat ze uitbrengen, is een belangrijk onderdeel van het Silverthorn gedachte goed geworden.
Daarnaast geloven ze bij Silverthorn volledig in de zogenaamde Afropean synergie. Dit is een combinatie van Europees erfgoed, traditie en kennis en de Afrikaanse omgeving, cultuur en avontuurlijkheid
Silverthorn The Green Man (Chardonnay)
Hand harvested in end-January in the early hours of the morning at around 19 degrees balling. The grapes were whole bunch pressed with a very low recovery rate of only 600 liters per ton–this ensures that no bitter tannins are extracted. Fermentation took place in a stainless-steel tank at 15 degrees Celsius and a small portion was barrel fermented to enhance complexity.
Secondary fermentation occurred in the bottle and the wine spent a minimum time of 22 months on the lees after which it was manually riddled and disgorged. Half human, half nature, the Green Man is an ancient mythical figure representing the spirit of the forest, the continuous regeneration of life and the interdependence of all things. He has appeared throughout the ages from as far afield as ancient Babylon, India, Borneo and Nepal. to abbeys and cathedrals all over Europe.
He manifests in many forms, most commonly as a semi-human, foliate head, representing the fusion of man and nature. In his modern guise, The Green Man has appeared under a new name–Ecology. It is this spirit, as well as the delicate green hue of Silverthorn’s Chardonnay Cap Classique, that inspired winemaker John Loubser to break with traditional name ‘Blanc de Blanc’ and personify the wine with the name The Green Man. Also available in Magnum.
Silverthorn The Genie (Shiraz)
Hand harvested in mid-February in the early hours of the morning at around 19 degrees balling. The grapes were whole bunch pressed with a very low recovery rate of only 550 liters per ton. This ensures that no bitter tannins are extracted and leaves the juice with a beautiful light purple color. The color gradually evolves into a salmon-pink. Fermentation took place in a stainless-steel tank at 15 degrees Celsius.
Secondary fermentation occurred in the bottle and the wine spent a minimum time of 15 months on the lees after which it was manually riddled and disgorged. Richly entwined in Arabian folklore, Genies are best described as free-willed spirits formed from smokeless fire.
Capable of using their power to create either magic or mischief, Genies were popularized in the Tales of One Thousand and One Nights. Traditionally, Rosé Champagne is made from two red varieties, namely Pinot Noir and Pinot Minuer. With Silverthorn The Genie we broke the rules.
Embracing the free-willed spirit of the Genie, we opted for something far more daring and exotic, and used Shiraz, an ancient grape variety, originating from Persia.
Silverthorn The Jewel Box (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir)
The grapes were hand harvested towards the end of January and gently whole bunch pressed to recover a maximum of only 550 liters per ton. Fermentation of the Chardonnay was split between stainless steel and old French oak barrels while the Pinot Noir was only fermented in stainless steel. This creates the basis of complex building blocks which are critical when it comes to the final blending. A further technique of using a reserve portion of Chardonnay which has spent 12 months in old French barrels also adds a very interesting blending component.
The final blend consists of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir. The wine spends a minimum of 38 months on the lees in order to develop the optimum complexity. The Southern Cross, or Crux, is the best-known constellation in the southern hemisphere’s skies, and also our favorite. It gave early explorers their bearings when travelling the southern oceans. Hidden within Crux is a fascinating deep-sky object known as Kappa Crucis. It is regarded as one of the finest open clusters in the Milky Way galaxy.
Kappa Crucis adopted the nickname “Jewel Box”. When Dom Pierre Perignon, the Benedictine monk and so-called father of Champagne first experienced the joys of sparkling bubbles vibrantly frothing out of a bottle of wine he allegedly and excitedly exclaimed ‘come quickly, I am drinking the stars’. We can honestly relate to this statement.
Silverthorn River Dragon (Colombard)
Hand harvested towards the end of February in the early hours of the morning at around 19 degrees balling. The grapes from a 38-year-old vineyard, were whole bunch pressed with a very low recovery rate of only 600 liters per ton – this ensures that no bitter tannins are extracted. Wild fermentation took place in old Acacia 500-liter barrels to enhance complexity. Secondary fermentation occurred in the bottle and the wine spent 12 months on the lees after which it was manually riddled and disgorged.
Dragons exist in the realm of magic, but their origins are grounded by our collective fascination and curiosity in nature. Perhaps inspired by dinosaurs, there is a rich and ancient history of dragons throughout the world. Draco Africanus, the majestic African Dragon, is alleged to have spent its time whimsically flying and “skywriting” with smoke. Benevolent, wise and powerful, the ‘River Dragon’ of Silverthorn appears eternally silhouetted against the River Without End Mountains.