Old Vines Wine Cellars has an unusual story. Established almost fifteen years ago by Irina Botha and her daughter Fran, Old Vines is South Africa’s only Women’s Empowerment Winery and today the entire winemaking process – from grape to bottle – is in the hands of sixteen women (and one lucky man, thrown in for good measure). While the term ‘old vines’ is sadly often exploited by wine marketers with little evidence to support their claims, there is nothing inauthentic in Irina and Fran’s use of the words. In fact, Old Vines’ vineyards date back as far as seventy years. High on the breezy slopes surrounding the old winemaking town of Stellenbosch, their gnarled old Chenin Blanc vines produce tiny yields of exceptionally concentrated grapes. The resulting wines are highly refined examples of Chenin Blanc, mineral and supremely elegant, with more than a nod to the famous Chenins of France’s Loire Valley.