Wine Of The Week Trizanne Signature Wines Groendruif Semillon

Winona Griggs

Wine of the Week 20: Trizanne Signature Wines Seascape Groendruif Skin Contact Semillon 2022

“The ocean is a big part of my life,” I say. “It gives me so much energy.” The salty smell fills the air at my home in Kommetjie, where I live on the Cape Peninsula. Today, I had the chance to try out the new wines from Trizanne Signature Wines (TSW). But now, as the waves whisper my name, I grab my surfboard and head to the beach. Before I go, I take the Seascape Groendruif Skin Contact Semillon 2022 (from the Cape Agulhas wine district) with me. I’m curious to see how it evolves over the next few days, like the ebb and flow of the tide.

So close to the ocean

When I’m curving up the Atlantic for Trizanne, I’m not just making a lifestyle choice – I’m also making a decision about the vineyards I source my grapes from. I look for vineyards that are close to the sea, not only because they have an influence on my wines, but also because it’s easier for me to take a surf break. I’m a risk-taker, like most surfers, and my Groendruif Skin Contact Semillon is a testament to that.

Elim is the region where these grapes come from, and it has ancient soil that lends a unique character to the wine. It might be a bit more interior, but it’s actually a surprisingly short drive to the wild waves of the West Coast from there. The vineyard in Elim is where I source the grapes for my acclaimed sauvignon-semillon blend, and for this particular wine, I wanted to try something different.

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In 2022, I decided to take another risk. But it wasn’t recklessness. I knew exactly what I was getting into when I ventured into these untamed vineyards on the edge of the continent. These precious lands, untouched since the days of Gondwana, are home to the southernmost vineyards in the world. Here, the ancient soils and relentless ocean winds harmonize to create a unique winemaking environment.

With this in mind, I made the decision to harvest the grapes earlier and let the wine ferment on the grape skins until the cap naturally sank to the bottom. The result? Cool-climate skin-contact wines that defy expectations. Despite their oxidative production process, these wines are not orange in color. Instead, they offer a whole new range of flavors that will surprise and delight your palate.

I want to share something interesting that I learned from Trizanne about this wine. Even though it has a relatively low alcohol content of just 11%, it carries a lot of weight and importance. Trizanne believes that this is due to the lower pH that can be achieved in the cool-climate ward of Elim.

What’s fascinating is that because of the unique combination of factors in Elim, Trizanne can’t promise that she will be able to produce this wine every year. It’s a bit unpredictable. She says, “I don’t know if I can bring it out every year. It remains to be seen.” It’s like catching the perfect wave at the perfect time.

Seascape Groendruif Skin Contact Semillon 2022

In the early 1800s, Semillon was so widely planted that it was simply referred to as “groendruif” (meaning “green grape”) in Afrikaans. Trizanne harvests the original GD1 clone from her Elim vineyard and ferments it on the skins for two more weeks before carefully pressing it into barrels, where it ages on the lees.

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The wine evokes images of thatched roofs, whitewashed stone walls, pebbles from the sea, and the fragrance of dune flowers. It captures the essence of the sea, with its cool, pulsing energy and a burst of salty acidity. Somewhere in the background, there are notes of yellow apples and peach, but the true beauty of this wine lies in its depth.
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