South African wine is not a short story. It’s an odyssey. Its characters have their adventures shaped by the places they travel and the people they meet. DAMASCENE is about a quest for revelation, and each wine is a chapter in this odyssey.

The DAMASCENE founders were united by three passions; the pursuit of excellence, a spirit of discovery, and the desire to preserve nature through sustainable agriculture. Wine entrepeneur David Curl (the former owner of Chateau Gaby in Canon-Fronsac) had begun discussions with winemaker Jean Smit about his involvement in Moya Meaker wines; an Elgin-based winery focussing on premium cool-climate Burgundy cultivars.

But after many long conversations about life, the meaning of quality, and the philosophical search for what wine should be (rather than what it is) they were both convinced that their collaboration would not end there. Within six months, Damascene was conceived; a series of wines that would tell the story, not of their owners, or marketing trends, but of the very vineyards themselves.
Damascene wines are about telling stories. They’re born to express the way that man and place collaborate to form narrative. Both vineyard and viticulturist play a role in the story. The winemaker plays the role of editor, and each of our wines tells of their own adventure.

  • Number of bottles produced: 43.000
  • In charge of vineyard management: Jean Smit
  • Name of Company contact: Jean Smit
  • Telephone: +27 82 334 8100
  • Website:
  • Address:

    Demascene Vineyards
    Habibi Farm,
    Glen Fruin Rd
    Elgin, 7180
    South Africa

The winery

Less cult, more cultivation Jean Smit

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