New Producer Highlight: Mother Rock Wines


Johan Meyer and Uk wine importer Ben Henshaw collaborated on their initial products, the Force Majeure wines, which they, after a wonderful reception in the North American market, expanded to create Mother Rock Wines. Mother Rock is a wine label that focuses on sourcing grapes from high caliber, organically farmed vineyard sites in Swartland, South Africa. Using grape varieties typical to South Africa and selecting sites with varied soil types, terroir is at the heart of this project. These wines are first and foremost South African. The production at Mother Rock allows the wines to shine in their true unadulterated state; the wines are produced with minimal intervention, with only a small dose of SO2 added before bottling to aid stability. These wines are available in limited quantities, so get them while you can! Mother Rock Liquid Skin can only be found on the shelves at Vine Arts and is sure to fly off the shelves!

Mother Rock Liquid Skin - Vine Arts Exclusive

This skin contact wine is composed of 100% Chenin Blanc which was planted in 1973. The grapes were dry farmed on a variety of soils including granite, koffieklip, and schist. The wine underwent two weeks of whole cluster fermentation, before seven weeks of post-fermentation maceration on the skins, after which it was aged for one year in neutral oak vessels. It was bottled without fining or filtration, resulting in a hazy, apricot hued wine. It has remarkable structure with lively acidity and is bursting wine ripe fruit flavours, paired with a candied nut quality, making for a complex, cerebral wine. 

Mother Rock White

With Chenin Blanc and Viogner composing the majority of the blend, the blend is rounded out with Grenache Blanc, Semillon, and Harslevelu (most commonly known for its role as a supporting grape in Hungary’s Tokaj wine). The production of this wine utilizes a variety of fermentation techniques. Some of the wine was fermented at cold temperature in stainless steel vats, with the other portion was fermented on its skins for a month before pressing into a neutral oak barrel. The wine was aged for a year on gross lees before bottling without fining or filtration. With lovely texture from the dollop of skin contact, along with juicy tropical fruit, and waxy white blossom notes, this wine is full of complexity and sheer drinkability. 

Mother Rock Grenache 

The Grenache that make sup this wine is grown on a granite and shale vineyard that is farmed organically. It comes from a single vineyard site outside of Malmsebury. It is 100% whole cluster fermented with an eight week maceration. The wine is then pressed into neutral 550L barrels and aged for nearly a year. It is bottled without fining or filtration. This brilliant red wine has notes of black tea, wild herbs, and juicy red cherries.

Force Majeure Semillon 

Composed of 100% Semillon from a single vineyard site on Paardeberg Mountain that was planted in 1997, the vines were farmed without irrigation and has been converted to organic viticulture. 90% of the wine is fermented in stainless steel with 10% aged in old 300L barrels. A portion of the grapes are whole cluster fermented on the skins for two weeks. It is then aged for 7 months on the lees. This wine has flavours of waxy coastal lemon with a sea salt tang and bushels of apples. 

Force Majeure Red Blend

A blend dominated by Syrah and Pinotage, it is balanced by the addition of Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvedre. The fruit for this wine comes from a variety of vineyard sites throughout Swartland. The vineyards are farmed organically, avoiding chemical treatments entirely. The Syrah sees carbonic maceration, while the other varieties are whole cluster fermented with the pressed juice then blended with the Syrah. The wine is then aged in stainless steel for nine months resulting in a nuanced, fresh wine that is vibrant with lovely tannins and perfume.