Klein Goederust: Franschhoek’s first black-owned wine farm with a stellar MCC offering
We chat to the owner of the Klein Goederust Boutique Winery in Franschhoek.
There’s excitement around Paul Siguqa’s new Klein Goederust boutique winery in Franschhoek. After acquiring the land in 2019, and renovating and restoring the century-old vineyard and its historic buildings, Siguqa is now the first black man to own a wine farm in Franschhoek. It is a feat he takes seriously, especially as the son of a farmworker and within the context that the wine industry can be seen as a closed world. He talks to us about this and his loving relationship with wine.
Your presence represents the gradual transformation that is taking place in the wine industry. What do you want it to mean?
Being the first 100% black-owned wine farm in Franschhoek is bittersweet. Bitter in the sense that it’s been 27 years into our democracy and sweet in that we are there now. The biggest barrier to this industry is access to land. And land is very expensive. I hope that us being there addresses two narratives. The first one being that black people are able to farm – and farm successfully – and that we are able to participate in any industry. The second narrative, and the one makes it more significant, is that I’m a child of a farm labourer. The possibilities should be endless no matter who you are and where you are born in South Africa. A child of a mineworker must be able to own the mines one day. I’m a child of a farmworker and I own a farm. That’s the narrative that I hope our farm can carry through.
What are some of your earliest memories of the farm and winemaking that speak to your own journey with wine?
I have a very fond relationship with wine because it has always been part of my life growing up on a wine farm. The first time I saw my mother at work was in a wine cellar. My mother worked for 37 years in the sparkling wine room, which meant that she was responsible for the whole process when it comes to making the Methode Cap Classique (MCC) off the farm where we grew up. Also, my first job as a teenager was at the same farm, where I worked in the wine dispatch area, and later I was promoted to be a wine ambassador.
The romance of wine can be compared to the creativity of making art. What is that romance for you and what about wine draws you in?
Mine starts in the vineyard. We have just gone through the process of planting vine in winter, when they look like dead sticks. Even before that, it starts on the land. When you have to prepare the land, doing soil analysis, planting, building an irrigation system, and eventually picking the fruit that will end up in the bottle. That whole process is for me pretty romantic.
There’s diversity in wine that extends to diversity in taste. What informs your palette?
My philosophy is pretty straightforward when it comes to wine. I believe that the fruit, the actual vine, the grape, must do the talking in the wine. I like wines that are complex, but where the fruit does the talking more than the wood.
What wines do you specialise in at Klein Goederust?
Our flagship is the Nomaroma MCC, named after my mother. She’s been a very integral part of making sure that we produce a quality MCC. Our MCC has an extended bottle maturation of three years. That helps it gain flavour complexity that ranges from zesty grapefruit to toasty almonds. It’s quite a winner. The first batch sold out within 60 days. We are releasing the new batch of our vintage MCC on the 1st of March.
Our youngest wines include the chenin blanc 2021. This we mature in French oak barrels for 10 months. What you will typically find is tropical fruit aromas that combine perfectly with vanilla oak flavours. It has a rich creamy aftertaste. That’s the kind of wine that you would enjoy on its own or paired with fish or white meat dishes.
We have two red wines. The shiraz 2020 displays typical characters of white pepper and fynbos that are further enhanced by blackberry oak flavours on the palette. And then we have the 2018 cab-merlot blend. Cab and merlot are beautiful blending partners. The cab gives it the structure and the merlot is there for elegance. Ours has soft layers ranging from classic ripe plum to hints of dark chocolate in the background.
We always end our tasting with the Noble Late Harvest 2020, which we harvest very late in the season. It is made out of chenin blanc. The vibrant flavours that you get are honey, ripe pineapple and raisin. It’s the ideal digestive when served chilled.
What do you want to achieve with your winery?
We are a boutique winery for two reasons. We are probably one of the smaller wine farms in Franschhoek. That counts in our favour because I always tell the guys that we must concentrate on quality over quantity. I think our contribution is improvement on quality – quality of our wines and quality for our service. The fact that we have a smaller range ensures that our wines are of greatest quality.