When Stompie (Johan Meyer) called up Vine Street Imports one dreary afternoon in December saying he got a hold of some top notch bush vine Sémillon from granitic soils on Paardeberg Mountain, there was a bit of intrigue. When it was understood that it would retail for $15 or less it was more of an elated WTF moment! Organically farmed, single vineyard planted in ’97 and dry farmed.
The grapes were handpicked across three pick dates with early picks ensuring good pH and acid and structure coupled with enveloping aromas from the riper batches. The majority of the grapes were whole bunch pressed to stainless steel with 10% being barrel fermented. 20% of the stainless ferments were fermented on skins for two weeks for added texture and character. The wine aged for seven months on the gross lees prior to a careful racking. The wine was bottled without fining nor filtration and bottled with a total SO2 of 34 ppm.
Johan Meyer, AKA “Stompie”, has made a name for himself in the ever-emerging South African wine industry in a very short time. While his namesake ‘Signature’ wines reflect his love of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Stompie is not one to limit himself and thus created the Mother Rock Wines wines in collaboration with his UK importer Ben Henshaw of Indigo Wines.
After seeing market quickly drink up the initial Force Majeure (Celeste in the U.S.) wines, they expanded the offerings to include a label called ‘Mother Rock,’ focused on discovering exceptional parcels of sustainably-farmed vines grown on a variety of soil types. The identity of these two ‘brands’ is rooted deep in the South African wine industry with Chenin Blanc at the root of the whites and field blends of the reds. These are terroir-focused wines made to offer drinkability and enjoyment, and it doesn’t hurt that the labels are beautiful.
Much like the ‘Signature’ wines, he has long-term contracts with some of the best growers in the Southern Cape determined to farm their sites organically. In the winery there is no SO2 added before or during fermentation but it’s a natural element that comes from the vines and you will always end up with some SO2 in the wines. That being said the wines are lightly sulfured before bottling for preservation and stability. Ultimately ‘Mother Rock’ is about showcasing the best and purest expression of South Africa’s diverse terroir. ~ Winery Notes