The Francophile Chenin Blanc

The Francophile Chenin Blanc

Technical Information:

Producer: Confidential
The Wine: Chenin Blanc
Vintage: 2021
Wine of Origin: Swartland
Alcohol: 12.5%
Cans (250ml): 2,000  cans
Released: January 2022

Rick, the Cape Crusader would be the first person to embrace innovation and help pioneer new formats. The wine trade has been speculating about the future of wine in cans for some time now. Many have tipped them to be the ‘next big thing’, whilst others would not be seen dead opening ‘a cold one’…


Sourcing and creating The Francophile Chenin Blanc (in bottle) marked a departure for Rick who commissioned the making of this wine from a fantastic resource of old, bush vine Chenin, rather than liberating an existing parcel. Its release is intended to be sustainable and repeatable; to be enjoyed copiously in the knowledge that it is not subject to the finite quantities imposed by The Liberator Episodes or Special Editions.

Anyone who has ever had an audience with Rick will already be convinced that Chenin Blanc is, in fact, the world’s greatest grape variety. For the past 25-plus years, it’s been Rick’s Mission from God to preach this gospel to South Africa’s winemakers, to ensure they recognise the value of their old vine Chenin; a vinous resource just as precious as gold and diamonds are to the rest of the country.

For those commentator’s content to view South African Chenin Blanc as the primary source of industrial quantities of sub-standard supermarket promotional fodder, think again. This is no facile example; it’s a wine that is designed to demonstrate what can be achieved with a little bit of care and attention in both the vineyard and the cellar. It might well remain South Africa’s most widely planted grape variety, but it’s a fact that should be celebrated and not dismissed.

Rick’s Treatise on wine in a Tin

It is no secret that wine sales internationally are declining and whilst the snobbery associated with the subject is not wholly to blame, any resistance to innovation could be.

One only has to consider the growth in the interest and sales of canned craft beer to understand how the concept has been embraced by a wider audience. Vibrant and often fiercely independent packaging with 360-degrees of graphics have also captured the imagination of the millennial generation of drinkers in the way that wine, in the most part, has not.

The beauty of canned wine is in its simplicity, as there is no need to search in vain for a corkscrew or even grab some glasses, wine in a tin can be enjoyed anywhere and at any time. The smaller size of this format has clear benefits and allows for the wine to be chilled much quicker and keeps it fresh.

Not to be overlooked are the environmental credentials of any canned drinks, which are a credible alternative to both plastic and glass bottles.  The impact of single-use plastics has dominated the news over the last few years, and it has become crucial to find a solution to this. From the point of production to the point of recycling, aluminium is considerably more efficient and has a much lower carbon footprint.

Cans are also free of TCA (aka ‘cork taint’), an affliction that has forever blighted wines offered in traditional packaging, regardless of their relative quality.

Should wine in a can be judged as being any better or worse than that presented in a glass bottle…? No, not at all.

Whilst some will aim to can mostly inexpensive, industrial-quality grade wines, which could potentially undermine the category, it is the objective of Rick to offer only the finest of South African liberations to his loyal band of followers.

Liberator fans will be able to enjoy the same diverse selection of wines, produced mostly in small, finite quantities, as they would expect to find in conventional Liberator bottles. It will simply allow more drinkers an opportunity to experiment, with wines presented in an alternative and convenient single-serve format, rather than having to invest in opening a whole bottle.

Rick in a tin… What is not to love?