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My Wyn Wins Inaugural Cab Franc Trophy



My Wyn, a small winery in the hills of Franschhoek, has won the inaugural Cobie van Oort Cabernet Franc Trophy for the highest score during the 2020 Cab Franc Challenge.

For the first time since the inception of the Challenge in 2016, it was decided to award the highest scoring wine overall with a floating trophy.  This trophy is called the Cobie van Oort Cab Franc Challenge Trophy and the inaugural winner is My Wyn from Franschhoek.  Winemaker Jacoline Haasbroek felt it was a great honour and the trophy will be displayed in her tasting room for the next year!  Cobie passed away suddenly on 24 June and a suggestion was made to create this award in her legacy.

Cobie, who together with Celia Gilloway from Events by Celia, started the Cabernet Franc Challenge in 2016 with 33 entries, which has subsequently grown by more than 50%.

Celia suggested that a trophy, in honour of Cobie, would let her legacy live on in the minds and hearts of all producers and Cab Franc Lovers.  Cobie was extremely passionate about the varietal and felt that something had to be done to expose this “Bordeaux Grape” to a much bigger audience.  Cobie also initiated the first Cab Franc Carnival, which was held at Avontuur Estate in 2015.

The Cabernet Franc Challenge is a 100% blind tasting, judged by 5 well respected and experienced tasters from the industry.  This year’s panel was once again led by Chair Christine Rudman, Greg Mutambe, Malu Lambert, Lizette Tolken and Fiona McDonald.

Christine commented on the 2020 Challenge with the following: “There were 52 entries, the same as in 2019, and while many of the previous winners participated, there were also some new entries. Judging out of 100.

With Covid 19 putting a stop to large gatherings of people and therefore making it impossible to host the 2020 Cabernet Franc Carnival at the Vrede en Lust winery in the Franschhoek Region, Cab Franc Lovers’ will need to wait until 2021 to attend this very popular event.

My Wyn is Franschhoek’s smallest wine cellar, the domain of a garagiste, or more grandly a boutique cellar. I made my first wine, a shiraz, in 2001. A mere three barrels or about 900 bottles (along with 400 bottles of sparkling wine for home consumption). Nights spent tossing and turning, trying to dream up a fancy French name came to naught, so in desperation I turned to hubby – what should I call my wine? Just what it was: My wyn.

2012 is the twelfth vintage from My Wyn’s cellar. In time I became more adventuresome – if I could make a shiraz, why not a cabernet sauvignon as well, or something from my favourite eating grape, the plump, juicy cabernet franc? Or a noble late harvest if the season favoured it, a rosé or even a port? What I did realize was that My Wyn had to concentrate on developing a product range.

Growing up as I did on an Eastern Cape farm, my first effort just had to be something full of earthy flavours like a shiraz. Definitely also some cabernet franc, even if was just one barrel, and a bit of petit verdot for being so uniquely its own grape.

Summertime called for something cool though, and the big challenge was to make a white wine without refrigeration, and this is how viognier got under my skin. Temperamental, having to be picked at just the right moment if you wanted to be rewarded with typical viognier aromas. The right time, difficult to predict, a supremely feminine grape! Some sauvignon blanc sourced from my neighbor for my own special blend, Sauviognier (50/50 sauvignon blanc and viognier). And for the sweet tooth, I brewed a little port from non-port cultivars, sparkling wine in the French style, still mostly for home consumption, although by now more bottles to share.

My Wyn’s product range comes straight from the heart – my own style by choice, my procedures unique, my equipment antique. I buy in all my grapes from renowned local producers, from the same vineyards year after year. A trailer taking 75 crates, a destemmer , a 150-year-old crusher, five 500l barrels cut in half for maceration, a 40 kg basket press, a 4-teat bottling machine and a cork machine, plastic buckets, loads of woman power, passion and . . . patience.

I never make more than three barrels of any cultivar. My annual production is around 7 500 bottles, hand-made, hand-bottled. All the wine of My Wyn is unfiltered, labeled by hand (a bit off-centre at times), and with a wax cap instead of a capsule. The nude female on the label symbolises the contents – unadorned and authentic, just as Mother Nature made her.