A Wine That
surprises everyone. The Smiley method was born by blending together wines that didn't quite make it into single vineyard wines, so you might expect it to be somehow "less serious." That is not the case. Somehow all these "off cuts," as Ryan & Samantha fondly call them, come together to create an explosion of flavour; imagine putting cranberries, bacon, earth and thyme all on the BBQ at the same time. That's what this wine tastes like. It's delicious on it's own, or it's great with a braai, South-African style!
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- Delivery: Delivery and gift wrapping options available at checkout.
- Winemaker: Silwervis
Where & How?
The Smiley Red V3 is a blend of Cinsault (50%) Mourvèdre (35%) Tinta Barocca (11%) and Syrah (4%) from three different vintages spanning 2016, 2017 and 2018. The grapes were sourced from parcels grown on various different Swartland terroirs: the clay of Malmesbury, the schist of the Kasteelberg and the granite of the Paardeberg.
Natural fermentation took place in a combination of stainless steel tank and old wood foudres. The Syrah and Mourvèdre were partially de-stemmed with a medium maceration time, before ageing in oak barrels. The Cinsault and Tinta Barocca were fermented using whole bunches and aged in stainless steel to preserve the fresh and bright fruit of these varieties. The wines were then all tasted separately and blended to highlight the nuances of each grape variety and terroir.
Neither Ryan, a Zimbabwean, nor Samantha, from the UK, came from a family background of wine. Their story is one of those magical chance happenings, that led them to become who they are today: two of the brightest young sparks of South African wine. In his early 20s, Ryan often travelled to Basel, Switzerland, with his little brother for medical treatment. It was here of all places where he came across a wine bar that specialised in Piemonte. Ryan thinks back fondly saying,
"that's when I realised there was something really special about wine - you could work with the land in a way that has deep meaning. Something started stirring in my mind."
Next thing he knew, he had ditched working in the Zimbabwean tobacco industry, and through the help of friends found himself in Piemonte learning about winemaking. Ryan and Samantha, already friends, happened to bump into each other in Rome by coincidence, and started dating. They went to South Africa in 2008, as Ryan wanted to show Africa to Samantha. The trip was both intended as a holiday, but also to learn about wine, as the two had already fallen in love with the industry. As Samantha said,
"On that trip, we just got the sense that something incredible was possible there. We loved Italy, but it was very expensive for young people with no connections."
That was that. They finished their studies, moved to South Africa with no plan, just two backpacks between them, living on the road for many weeks. Four years later, they started their own winery, and today, they are considered two of the most talented young winemakers of the Swartland. All of their vineyards are tended organically, some by the farmers who own them, and others leased by the couple.