At the heart of Terracura in Swartland are the Smiley non-vintage wines that have not only spearheaded the brand but have been trail blazers for off the beaten track and maverick winemaking in South Africa. First vinified by winemaker Ryan Mostert just short of a decade ago - inspired by the hyper-oxidised wines of the Jura in France - it has grown into a fascinating vehicle with which to push the boundaries of South African winemaking in a region already renowned for raging against the status quo. Winemaker Chris Groenewald of Pounding Grape Wines has taken over production creating, wines that simultaneously intrigue and delight, managing to be both esoteric and accessible.
In the cellar, the grapes ferment naturally with no additions made at all. Absolutley no addition - acid or tannins or anything other than sulphur (and only minimal levels before bottling). The juice matures in a combination of old 300L barrels (some going back to 1960), plastic eggs, concrete eggs, stainless steel and glass demijohns. The red wines are mostly wholebunch fermented. The whites are everything from wholebunch, carbonic, destemmed with various lengths of skin contact. Some are aged oxidatively, some reductively, there are madeirised components, components aged under flor... All of this to reach a level of complexity in the Smiley White that you would not normally find in a South African white wine.