Why do we name our red blend the Gentle Giant ?
The wine: in 2006, we released our first vintage of the blend. Always Merlot driven, due to the plantings on the farm and how the grapes are delivered to the winery, merlot is the backbone of the gentle giant. Each year is a different blend, usually consisting of Bordeaux varieties, Petit Verdot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, but can have smatterings of the Rhone with dollops of shiraz, and even in years past, influences of the Madiran, with Tannat. We feel the reason behind making the gentle giant, is to make an easy drinking wine, full of flavour and power from the noble varieties, yet priced acceptably and can be enjoyed in a number of different occasions and with diverse foods and company.
The name : Franschhoek used to be called Olifantshoek, being the natural home to breeding herd of elephants which would traverse the steep mountain ranges on what is now the Franschhoek pass road, to give birth in the lush and fertile valley, which would have been covered in indigenous forest hundreds of years ago. An elephant in the wild is a majestic sight to behold, massive in every aspect, bold and fearless creatures, who explore their environment with a sense of grace and poise belying their enormity. Yet they are quiet and gentle. You could walk in to the backside of an elephant in the wild and not know it until its too late. So a sense of the wine reflected in the nature of these powerful yet gentle animals. We are also in the very fortunate position at Haut Espoir to overlook a mountain which bears a stunning similarity to the shape and features of an elephant which decided to stay in the valley, which you are able to see when you come to the farm, as is reflected on the label, can you find the gentle giant?