All the grapes come from the Waterval Vineyard, owned by Barry Schreiber and farmed by his daughter Franziska Wickens. The bush vines were planted in 1997 on decomposed granite and dry farmed since its initial planting. Since 2014, the southwest facing vineyard has only received organic sprayings and the undervine work has been done purely by machine and not chemically.
The grapes were hand-harvested into small lug-boxes, limiting the damage to the grape in larger bins. The grapes were picked early in the morning prior to the sun coming up in order to retain as much acidity as possible and over the period of ten days to get varying ripening levels. The grapes were whole-bunch pressed and the majority of it was fermented in stainless steel at cooler temperature (57°F) with a small amount fermented older 300L barrels. 20% of the entire lot was fermented on its skins. After seven months of aging on the gross lees, the stainless & barrel lots were blended and bottled without fining, filtration or a sulfur dioxide addition.
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 the market quickly drink up the initial Force Celeste wines (formerly known as Force Majure), 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 his eponymous 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.