The wines of Ryan Mostert (originally with Samantha Suddons, now separated) are some of the most thrilling that the Swratland has to offer. The Smiley wines are experimental cuvées, made inspired by the likes of iconic Jura and Madeira wines. The Silwervis focuses on 'true terroir' wines of the Paadeberg subregion of the Swartland; wines that were created naturally, without added lab-cultured yeasts or corrections, something that was radical at the time of its birth. The Terracura wines are the latest addition; they wanted to create a label that allowed their winemaking vision to encompass other vineyards and other areas of the Swartland.
"We arrived in South Africa with a backpack each and nowhere to live. Four years later, we started a winery... We still can't really believe it."
People: Ryan Mostert
Place: Swartland, South Africa
Varieties: Chenin Blanc, Cinsault, Syrah, Tinta Barocca, Mourvèdre
Farming: Organic with elements of biodynamics
Did You Know? In the Swartland, as they put it, "we pretty much just have grapes, wheat and sheep." When eating meat, nothing goes to waste there, so it's a tradition to eat every part of the animal - all of the "off-cuts" - including the head, which is nicknamed the Smiley. When looking at their mind-boggling new creation, Ryan and Samantha saw a similarity in this cuvée, and that's how its name came to be.
Swartland Old Vines
The Swartland region of South Africa is iconic for its old vines, which are proudly defended.
"It's so interesting with the old vines. Our '64 plot always gets harvested last - the grapes just seem to be able to hang for much longer. This brings a concentration, richness and intensity to the wine, without losing acid - the vines are able to balance themselves. This brings such a personality to the wine, and that's why the Silwervis only goes into concrete and steel - we want to keep it pure as can be, without any external influence."
Their Chenin Blanc, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Syrah are planted on almost every soil type imaginable - from schist, to granite, to sand to clay.