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Andrew Spinaze and Bruce Tyrrell

A Semillon Affair

A Semillon Affair  – Rikus Love of Semillon


Andrew Spinaze and Bruce Tyrrell

Andrew Spinaze, Rikus Neethling and Bruce Tyrrell

What’s Rikus obsession with Semillon? In 2017 I have visited the Hunter Valley Wine Region approx 1,5 hours drive from Sydney, Australia.During my time in the Hunter Valley I met and tasted some Semillon wines with some of the best Hunter Valley winemakers

In one of the tastings with Andrew Spinaze and Bruce Tyrrell from Tyrrell’s Wines, Bruce mentioned that some of the first Semillon plantings in the late 1800’s is actually from the Western Cape of South Africa. This made me think, if the Aussie’s are making name with our plant material I will come back to SA and produce a similar style Semillon.

Back in South Africa, I went on the hunt for Semillon grapes. After a few phone calls to a well know viticulturist in South Africa I was advised to speak to Albé Truter of Morningstar Farm in Darling. Albé and my paths crossed for the first time in 2006 when we both worked together in the Southern France region of Picpoul de Pinet. What a pleasure to be connected again with one of my friends and an even better feeling working together on a project that both of us love.

On Morningstar there is similarities in the soil compared to the Hunter Valley soil structures. More interesting on the Morningstar Semillon block there is 3 different Semillon clones interplanted. GD1 that is the typical clones that planted in Hunter Valley, GD 315 originated in France and GD14 US Davis  clone. This is an important aspect that gives our Bizoe Morningstar Semillon a unique character. 

Our philosophy is to pick on the pH and the acidity level of the grapes. The Bizoe Morningstar Semillon 2018 has ended up with and alcohol of 10.5% and the 2019 with 12.5%. Both vintages were picked on the same Ph and Acidity levels. Amazing to taste the 2 vintages next to one another is see the difference between the wines from the same vineyard.

Our love of Semillon will continue in our next blog.

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