When most people think of Franschhoek, they think of a beautiful little town surrounded by even more beautiful mountains. Not many people know that Franschhoek is the capital of old vine Sémillon in the Cape. For wine people, these parcels are a bit of a national treasure.
La Colline is the name of a fruit farm on the southern slopes of the Dassenberg and is home to one of the true greats of Cape heritage vineyards. The vines were planted in 1936 by Antonie Roux, the grandfather of the current farmer Anton Roux. It’s situated between 310 and 350 m above sea-level on quartz rich sandstone and granite soil. During summer, these tightly planted bushvines form a wild looking mess of life and grapes. In winter, they resemble a crowd of drunkards cartwheeling across the slope. It is a beautiful old thing.
These vines are related to the original vineyard material brought to the Cape in the mid-1600s. Generations of farmers selecting their plants over centuries has led to some unique genetics: parcels of vines like this have several different colours of Sémillon growing side by side in a gnarly mess of vine wood: Gris, Rose, Blanc, Vert at the very least. This is very Cape DNA.
The wine is wonderfully deep, savoury sweet, citrus and almonds, herbs and honey. It adds complexity and depth to Cartology, and also stands alone as one of our best wines: Monument Sémillon.