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History in a bottle

South Africa’s very first Sauvignon Gris is here! This inaugural HanDrinksSolo Exclusive bottling was vinified by the award-winning winemaker Henry Kotze of Pilgrim Wines, using fruit from the University of Stellenbosch Welgevallen experimental vineyards.

Jacky Preys: Sauvignon’s salvation

Thought to be a spontaneous mutation of Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris is a slightly thicker-skinned grape than Sauivignon Blanc, and has a pinkish-grey colour. We can tell you all this, because there are still Sauvignon Gris vines around for us to observe and report. BUT…that almost wasn’t the case.
Between Phylloxera, agricultural narrow-mindedness, and unchallenged sensory hegemony, Sauvignon Gris was on the brink of extinction. It had all but been obliterated from modern viticultural consciousness until it was re-discovered by vigneron Jacky Preys from the Loire Valley.
His work in producing some incredible 100% Sauvignon Gris in a time when no one else even knew what it was almost single-handedly revived the grapes fortunes both in France and eventually world wide.

Sauvignon Gris around the world

In the new world, the most significant plantings are in Chile. But California, New Zealand, Australia and now South Africa are all giving it a good go.
If you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you’ll have to hunt this wine down in your own time. But until then, here are my tasting notes and some technical specs:


👃🏼 Fresh sauvignon aromas of elderflower, chalk and kiwi fruit, but also more generous sweeter peach fruit and winter melon
👄 Lovely generous palate weight, with fascinating elements of nectarine, citrus, toasted marshmallow. The middle is perhaps a little hollow, but this is made up for with a lovely waxy texture to the wine.


🔬 Wine of Origin Stellenbosch. 100% Sauvignon Gris. The grapes were left on the skins for about a week, which included fermentation time. After fermentation, wine was racked into a fourth-fill 225L barrel, where it was matured for six months. The wine was bottled unfined, and only coarsely filtered.

Total Production 300 bottles | Alc 13.5% |
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