Monterosso Wine Estate - formerly run by the De Franchi family, which was a very Italian operation that lies on the Koelenhof Ridge, just off the R304, a few kilometers from the town of Stellenbosch. Ex-Owner, Papa Socrate, born in the town Monterosso al Mare of the famous Cinque Terre in Italy, purchased the 84 hector estate in 1977 and fulfilled his dream with this classical Tuscan-styled wine cellar.
Socrate grew up during the second world war and at the age of 14 years old, he joined partisan forces and fought in the war. Before the war started, his wife’s parents relocated to South Africa, Natal Midlands in the early 1930’s where they began farming and started trading on the South Coast. Upon their return to Monterosso for vacation after the war, they could not speak any more highly of South Africa and how great it was to live there. They then stole the heart of Socrate and decided that he and his wife too, would like to relocate to South Africa. At the time, he was a professional footballer and this was the only source of income. He quit his footballing career and used the little money he had to immigrate to South Africa on a cargo boat.
Socrate had two sons, Fransesko De Franchi and Orneglio De Franchi. Fransesko studied Law through UNISA and obtained a Law Degree while Orneglio done a Bsc in Agriculture at Stellenbosch University and completed his Masters in Viticulture and Oenology at the University of Turin in Italy.
Socrate always had a dream of making his own wine, which is why he decided to purchase the farm in 1977 and named it after his hometown, Monterosso. This became their home and they then built the Classic Tuscan Styled Wine Cellar. The Estate is evenly balanced with red and white varieties. The red variety includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Shiraz, and Sangiovese. The white variety includes Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Cape Riesling and Chenin Blanc.
The farm is now under new management, who will continue the legacy of Monterosso and pursue a new vision for the farm.