AA Badenhorst Family Wines are grown, made and matured on Kalmoesfontein farm in the Swartland appellation of South Africa. The 28ha of old bushvines grow in the Siebritskloof part of the Paardeberg mountain. The property is owned by the cousins Hein and Adi Badenhorst. Together these two have restored a neglected cellar on the farm that was last used in the 1930′s to make natural wines in the traditional manner. In 2008 they bought a 60-hectare piece of land in the Paardeberg. They now proudly farm together, practice biological farming and make natural wines in the traditional manner.
Alphabetical Wines came from a decision to break the rules. David Cope didn’t want to make a varietal wine or even a classic blend. Unfussed by area or origin and not owning his own estate, or boasting years of heritage, he wanted to make wines that were fun - voluptuous yet drinkable, impressive yet affordable, honest products that are naturally fermented and made with the utmost care to maintain the integrity of the fruit and the variety character. In other words, serious wine, but wine you can pour for novices as much as aficionados. And the name? When they started, their first red had so many varieties, one of their mates commented “Wow, it’s almost the whole alphabet!!” The name has stuck, and Alphabetical Vin Ordinaire goes on!
When Pieter Walser started BLANKbottle in 2004, his goal was to create an honest wine brand that had no limitations when it came to style, vintage, area or varieties in order to break down any preconceived expectations. Having no indication of variety on the bottle makes this possible. Not only does it demand complete honesty when it comes to quality, but it allows for the opportunity to introduce once-off limited runs of interesting wines. Pieter travels all around the Cape in search of special vineyards to work with.
Located in Devon Valley within Stellenbosch, Ginny Povall makes wine whilst simultaneously running a luxury guest lodge and protea farm. Known up until recently as ‘Botanica’ the wines now carry the name of the 18th Century British artist, Mary Delany, whose botanical cut-paper collages adorn the label. In August 2009 they began planting their first vineyards. Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In 2010 they finished their planting with more Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot along with Cabernet Franc. They also selected a small block that is their coolest site for some Pinot Noir. The estate has a total of 21.6 hectares with 10 hectares of flowers and 5 hectares of vineyards. Until now, all of the wines produced have come from contract fruit, whilst Ginny waits for her own vines to mature.
Crystallum is a family-run and privately-owned winery based in the Walker Bay region of South Africa. Andrew works in the vineyards and Peter-Allan in the cellar.
The company was founded in 2007 when it produced just over four thousand bottles of Sauvignon Blanc. The following vintage saw the introduction of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Crystallum now produces these Burgundian varieties exclusively, making up its collection with multi-vineyard blends and single-vineyard wines.
After 23 vintages (including Chianti Classico, Barossa Valley, Napa Valley and the Rhone Valley) Guillaume decided to pursue his dream and start Lysa Wines (Old Norse for “to bring in the light’’).
His philosophy is that great wine is the culmination of carefully managed vineyards and that wine should clearly communicate the context of the grapes. His vision is to make wines that challenge the norm. The 2019 Verdelho and wooded Chenin Blanc are his maiden releases under the Lysa brand.
His focus is not on specific varieties, but rather on promising, independent vineyards that are destined to make great wines.
In 2003, the Wraith family moved to the Western Cape from Gauteng and bought two adjacent farms. These two farms are now farmed as one Estate known as Keermont Vineyards. In 2005 the Wraith family planted 21ha over seven years to add to an existing 8ha of older vineyards. Their official maiden vintage was 2007 and in 2010 a spring water bottling plant on Fleurfontein was converted into a fully functional winery.
Alex Starey is in charge of the vineyards and of making the estate’s wines. He has travelled and worked in wine regions including Maipo Valley, Chile; Penedes and Priorat, Spain; St-Emillion and Côte-Rôtie, France.
Californian Samantha O'Keefe has found paradise and the perfect terroir. Tucked into the foothills of a dramatic mountain range at the bottom of Africa, Lismore Estate Vineyards was born alongside her nascent family. A passionate vision, combined with vines planted at 300 metres, which are chilled by winter snow and nourished by the African summer sun, produces classic, cool climate wines which are rich, complex and lovingly hand crafted.
Sam Lambson (21) is in the final year of his BSc Oenology degree at the University of Stellenbosch. The perfect place to meet, and learn from, the Cape’s most talented winemakers and he has worked harvests under Carl van de Merwe of De Morgenzon (2017) and independent winemakers Lukas van Loggerenberg (2018) and Chris Alheit (2019). Sam has a special love for cool climate Syrah, and has just released his first vintage. With savings from a bunch of early business ventures, he sourced exceptional fruit and, in return for lending a hand at harvest time, friends helped him out by sharing their grapes, barrels and tanks. Then he rented space at Stellenbosch’s historic Welgevallen Cellar. The Minimalist Wines journey is about focusing on what matters - in wine and in life - and allowing vineyards to talk without influencing them more than necessary.
Marelise Niemann is a perfect example of the new breed of South African winemaker, breaking free from the shackles of big-brand winemaking that dominated the landscape for so long. Without constraints they are allowed to pursue excellence in small quantities, often with unusual grapes that they feel are best suited to the climate and terroir surrounding them. All oak used is old, a vessel rather than used to impart flavour. The wines are cool, fresh, crisp and vibrant with energy and minerality. They work beautifully with food as a result of their structure, line of acidity and texture. Marelise started her working life at well-known South African producer Beaumont Wines in 2007 but soon realised she wanted to have more creative freedom. She travelled the world to further her craft, it was a vintage in Priorat in 2010 alongside Eben Sadie, she realised the potential of Old-Vine Grenache, now her main love.
Ian Naudé started out making Cape White Blends that were ‘a whole-lot greater than the sum of their parts’ at the debut of the noughties. Along with Eben Sadie, he pioneered the use of Chenin as a blending component in the early 2000s during his tenure at Dornier in Stellenbosch. The three circles on the label of his eponymously named White Blend are a ‘sign of perfection’ and symbolise the three varieties he adopts in the blend, namely Chenin, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes are sourced from up to a dozen different sites: Chenin from Durbanville, Stellenbosch and Riebeeck, Semillon from Stellenbosch and Durbanville, and Sauvignon Blanc from Durbanville, Elgin, Stellenbosch and Darling. These are age-worthy wines, demonstrated by the time that Ian elects to bring them to his market.
Rall wines was established in 2008 by independent winemaker Donovan Rall. After graduating with a Viticulture and Oenology degree from Stellenbosch University in 2005 and extensive travels and harvests all over in the next few years, Donovan returned to South Africa in 2007 for a season in the Swartland.
The focus was always going to be on one white (Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Verdelho and Chardonnay) and one red blend (Syrah and Grenache) produced by hand in tiny quantities from the most unique and oldest possible sites he could find.
The winemaking is simple, with each parcel allowed to ferment and mature naturally before blending. The first 10 barrels of Rall wines were made in 2008 and a few years down the line nothing has changed. Production is still tiny, and the focus remains on the two wines, learning and understanding more about each vineyard and their contribution with every vintage.
Reyneke is an old Stellenbosch farm established back in 1863. Johan Reyneke oversees the farming operation, and along with an ace team in the cellar they adopt a minimalist approach to wine making in order to best reflect the immaculate terroir. The estate is organic and biodynamic and all the compost and biodynamic preparations are made on-site. If you don’t find Johan in the vineyards, try the back line of Stilbaai, where he attends most of his board meetings.
Since Jessica Saurwein produced her first wine at Stellenbosch University, she has been trying to redeem her family’s reputation in wine.
Steeped in the history of 17th century winemaking, her forefathers made “sour” wine for the Duke of Austria! Luckily, now Jessica makes Pinot Noir rather than sour wine. Keen to return to winemaking, she was aided by Peter Allan Finlayson of Gabrielskloof and Crystallum, who offered her access to a small parcel from the prized Kaaimansgat vineyard to make her own Pinot Noir. And she has gone from strength to strength with her Nom Pinot Noir names one of Decanters Top 50 most exciting wines of 2018 and her Riesling in some of London’s best restaurants in London. We can’t wait to share her new Om Pinot Noir with you which will be making it’s debut at New Wave this year.
Ryan Mostert is the winemaker at Silverwis and Terracura. The two wines he releases under the Silwervis label are both single vineyard, vintage wines. The focus is on site-expression and so the winemaking is very delicate and considered. The vineyards are farmed organically and then aged in concrete eggs. Ryan also releases two wines under the label Terracura - a Syrah from 5 different vineyards of the Swartland and a Chenin blanc from old, Paardeberg bush vines
The small village of Tesselaarsdal in the Overberg, 24km north-east of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley is named after East India Company settler Johannes Tesselar. On his death in 1810, he bestowed the land to his freed slaves and owner/winemaker Berene herself is a descendant on one of those very slaves. If you look closely at the label, you can make out two people walking across the mountain. This is Berene and her grandmother. Berene has in fact worked at Hamilton Russell for the last 16 years, having started as an au pair, before moving in to the admin office and then becoming fascinated by the winemaking process. With the support of her winemaker Emul Ross, Berene now tends a few rows of vines at La Vierge, producing her wine at the Hamilton Russell cellar. Extreme care is taken to ensure this tiny-production, classically styled Pinot expresses the personality of the cool, maritime ridge and it’s stony, iron-rich soils.
Over the past 15 years, Richard has become one of the most respected authorities on South African wine in the UK and beyond. Between 1995 and 2002, he lived and worked in the Cape, witnessing the renaissance of the post-apartheid wine industry. Throughout this fruitful period, he established a healthy rapport with the great and the good of the local wine scene, affording him access to their distinguished cellars. He returns to the Cape several times a year on a mission to uncover – and liberate – the hidden gems of the Cape. Every release has its testimony recounted, in bottle and on screen, as a unique and evocative Episode.It might be an occasional experimental batch, or possibly an interesting off-cut from some proud winemaker’s latest premium release.
Lukas van Loggerenberg is the rising star of South African wine. 2016 was his maiden vintage as a solo winemaker and he has already been tipped by top producers (like Lay & Wheeler favourite, Chris Alheit) and top critics (like The Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin) for greatness. Lukas does not own any of his own vines yet, but has used his charm, talent and contacts to secure fruit from some brilliant parcels. Based out of a farm shed in the Stellenbosch, he is bound for the very top. He now makes his wines in the Devon Valley, sourcing most of his fruit from Stellenbosch with important parcels coming from Paarl and Swartland.
After working for over 20 years at La Motte and Rupert and Rothchild, Jacques Borman decided to buy a 24 Ha piece of land and to make wine for his own brand. Boschkloof was purchased in 1995, due to the beautiful granite soils, just outside Stellenbosch in the Polkadraai area. Reenen Borman took over the winemaking duties in 2012 and keeps the Boschkloof tradition going while also buying grapes from independent farmers and experimenting with site specific wines on the side-line. All wines are made with a hand-off approach to assure a sense of place.
Based on the L’Ormarins estate in Franschoek, the Anthonij Rupert estate is fast becoming one of the most impressive and innovative wineries in South Africa. Fruit comes from four vineyard properties in Franschoek, Elandskloof, Riebeeksrivier and Darling.
The Cape of Good Hope range pays tribute to the vinous heritage of the Western Cape, using grapes from ancient vines and unique sites to celebrate their impressive inheritance of terroir, climate, soil and grape variety. Dawie Botha (pictured) is the head winemaker. Mark van Buuren, the white winemaker from Cape of Good Hope Wines will be pouring the wines on the day!
Boekenhoutskloof was established in 1776. Located in the furthest corner of the beautiful Franschhoek valley, the farm’s name means “ravine of the Boekenhout”. pronounced Book-n-Hoat it is the Dutch derived name for the Cape Beech tree. The farm and homestead were bought and restored in 1993 and a new vineyard planting programme was established. The estate is best known for its outstanding expressions of Syrah, largely from the plantings on two farms in the Swartland, owned by Boekenhoutskloof.
Situated in the Hemel & Aarde Valley, Cap Maritime is a new project from Boekenhoutskloof, and one perfectly suited to Winemaker Gottfried Mocke’s passion for Chardonnay & Pinot Noir.
André Bruyns, assistant winemaker to David and Nadia Sadie, stared making wine under his own label City on a Hill in 2015. His white grapes come from 35-year-old dryland vineyards in the Paardeberg Mountain, planted mainly with Chenin Blanc. Farming is sustainable with some organic and biodynamic practices used. The wines are fermented naturally in old oak barrels and are bottled unfiltered. The White Blend is a blend of 92% Chenin Blanc with 8% Viognier and spends 10 months on lees. He also makes a 100% Chenin Blanc. And just one barrel of Muscat d’Alexandrie from a 30-year-old parcel, whole-bunch macerated for 5 days before pressing.
David & Nadia Sadie, a young husband and wife team, are one of the top wine producers in the Swartland. The winery was established in 2010 and became a full-time reality for David in 2013 when he left his former job. Nadia joined the operation permanently in 2016. Their focus is to nurture and restore old Swartland bush vines through attentive viticulture and they are both committing to a hands-off approach to winemaking.
Joan Heatlie, born on a 6th generation Family farm, in the grape growing region of the Western Cape, Hexriver, took a keen interest in agriculture from a very young age.She obtained a degree in Viticulture & Oenology from Elsenburg Agricultural College in 2007.
With over a decade of extensive experience in grape growing and winemaking, she founded her own brand: Glen Heatlie in 2017.Her great, great grandfather, T.T Heatlie won first prize for the best Cape brandy in the 1880’s and a gold medal at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London in 1886.Now more than a century later Joan is committed and focussed on the revival of her Family’s legacy and personal vision: producing fine wine from South Africa.
The historic Twee Jonge Gezellen farm in Tulbagh is the home of Krone, a collection of vintage-only Méthode Cap Classiques.
Twee Jonge Gezellen is among the oldest farms in the Western Cape. Originally, it was one of 14 farms established after 1700 when the then governor of the Cape motivated for an expansion beyond Cape Town. The Farm became wine-producing in the 20th century and invented cold fermentation in the 1950s, among other firsts.
The site-specific rocky soils of Tulbagh are like nowhere else in the Cape Winelands. This is our bedrock for making great Cap Classique.
Franco is the assistant winemaker for Chris Alheit and the wines he makes from Chris’s cellar in Hemel-en-Aarde follow a similar path of old-vine complexity and masterly finesse. From his two single-vineyard Steens (Chenin Blancs) to his Rhone red and white blends these are impressive bottlings by any standard. Another New Wave SA star is born.
Miles Mossop Wines was established in 2004 with the vision to create wines unique in character, expressing the true nature of South Africa and the sites from which the grapes are sourced. It is a family business with Miles Mossop as winemaker and viticulturist. The wines are named after Miles and Samantha Mossop’s three children.
Production is limited to 80 tons in total which results in 1800 cases of white, 1600 cases of red and a tiny amount of dessert wine being produced.
We aim to achieve wines with finesse and elegance but still showing aspects of power and fruit concentration, having great texture while maintaining balance.
These are truly handcrafted wines showing pure fruit expression and, more importantly, a sense of place.
Miles is passionate about surfing, wine and family (not particularly in that order).
Mother Rock is a collaboration between winemaker Johan Meyer and Indigo founder Ben Henshaw. Johan, a rising star of the new South African wine scene, developed strong relationships with some of the best grapegrowers across the Cape over the years, and as a result he has gained access to some of the region’s best fruit. Noticing a gap in the UK market for artisanal, well-made South African Chenin at an accessible price, they decided to use this fruit to create the first Force Majeure. The success of this wine has given way to two new additions to the Force Majeure line: a Cinsault Rosé and a Red Blend made up of Syrah, Pinotage, Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan and Mourvedre, both produced with the same principles as the original. Recently, they’ve also started working on new wines under the ‘Mother Rock’ label, focusing on discovering exceptional parcels of well-farmed vines grown on a variety of soil types and vinified as simply as possible.
Newton Johnson was founded in the mid-1990s by Cape Wine Master, Dave Johnson and his wife, Felicity (Née Newton). Over the past twenty years, the winery has built a reputation for producing some of the Cape’s finest Pinot Noir’s. The first vintage was released in 1997 and all vinified from bought-in fruit. Dave and Felicity bought the current farm in 2001 and built themselves a new cellar. Today, there are 15 hectares of vines planted on north-facing slopes of the Upper Hemel-en-Aadre Valley, with a further 3.5 hectares on south-facing sites and which are planted exclusively to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Right from the outset, Dave and Felicity’s two sons were involved with the development of the business. Bevan, who now looks after all the commercial aspects of the farm while Gordon and his wife Nadia are the winemaking team.
Restless River wines are hand crafted by the Wessels family on their farm in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, next door to the coastal village of Hermanus in the Western Cape, South Africa. The farm is owned and run by Craig and Anne, winemaker and manager respectively.
With vines planted in 1998, Restless River Vineyards has some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. The soils are extremely diverse, resulting in each small block being unique. The Valley is well renowned for its cooler climate. The farm is only 5km from the Atlantic Ocean, and with the vineyards at 870ft, the temperature is a further couple of degrees cooler.
About 1000 cases of each variety are produced every year. This approach results in special, elegant, somewhat rebellious wines that have their own distinctive personality and character shaped each year by that particular growing season.
Eben Sadie started his winemaking career working for Charles Back’s Spice Route-labelled wines before breaking out on his own in 1999. Since the first release of Columella with the 2000 vintage, he has acquired a reputation as the most innovative and inspired winemaker in South Africa. His goal is to produce an expression of a region or specific site. This is the philosophy that drives the production of his Signature Series wines – Columella and Palladius. The Signature Series was joined by the Old Vine Series (Die Ouwingerdreeks in Africaans) with its first commercial release in 2010. This range of wines is the fruition of a project very close to Eben’s heart. He worked with renowned viticulturalist, Rosa Kruger, to seek out, revitalise and save old vineyards throughout the Cape. These highly sought-after wines are produced in tiny volumes and offer an incredible vinous insight into South Africa’s grape growing and winemaking history. FMV will be pouring on Eben's behalf on the day.
Located in the Lower Helderberg region South East of Stellenbosch, Scions of Sinai was founded by Bernhard Bredell in 2016. Having grown up on a wine farm, Bredell has always felt the desire to give back to his roots. He focuses on using natural methods and minimal intervention in the cellar to ensure the wines maintain authenticity to the vines and their roots. But why the name, “Scions of Sinai”? Scion, in biology, refers to the upper part of the vine or a young shoot. In old English, scion also means descendant. Sinai refers to Sinai Hill, the foothill of the lower Helderberg, where the Bredells have farmed with old dryland bush-vines for generations. From Sinai Hill, Bernhard sees both himself and his old bush-vines as the Scions of Sinai – descendants of this unique terroir.
Winemaker Hannes Storm worked 12 vintages in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley before he discovered two parcels of land with exceptional terroir and embarked on his eponymous project, Storm Wines. His aspiration is clear: to create wines with a sense of place. His natural approach and careful viticulture produce classically proportioned wines with distinctive personality and an innate purity.
Storm focuses on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Located in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, their three vineyard sites – Ignis, Vrede and Ridge – each possess an individual character. Storm Wines is now the only producer with Pinot Noirs from each of the three appellations in the Hemel-en-Aarde.
The Foundry Wine Collection was established in 2001 by Chris Williams and his friend James Reid. The first vintage of The Foundry was vinified at the Myburghs of Joostenburg winery in Paarl. There was no room for their barrels in the barrel room, and so they were accommodated in the old blacksmiths’ workshop - and ‘The Foundry’ was born. Chris continues to vinify The Foundry wines at Meerlust from adjoining vineyards as well as co-owner James Reid’s vineyard in the Voor Paardeberg. The wines are vinified, bottled and matured at Meerlust Estate in Stellenbosch. From 2010 The Foundry has a new home in the Voor-Paardeberg area. Their intention is to eventually locate all of their winemaking activities in the Paardeberg but still continue to produce the single vineyard Stellenbosch Syrah and Viognier.
Thistle and Weed is a joint venture in artisanal wine making by Stephanie Wiid (winemaker) and Etienne Terblanche (viticulturist) established in 2015. Thistle and Weed has a strong focus and passion for Chenin Blanc and seek out different parcels across the Cape. Currently producing two old vine Chenin Blancs from Stellenbosch (Brandnetel) and Paarl (Duwweltjie). Another passion of the dynamic duo lies in Portuguese varieties (after having spent substantial time in Portugal) which lead to the introduction of a Tempranillo Alicante Bouschet blend (Nastergal) into the range and the newest addition to the collection of weeds is a biodynamic Cabernet Franc (Knapsekêrel).
Their approach to winemaking is minimal intervention in the cellar with the focus on the vineyards leaving them to guide the wine gently through fermentation and into the bottle!
Waterkloof is an independent, family-owned farm acquired in 2004 after a decade-long search by former sommelier and wine importer Paul Boutinot.
A natural amphitheatre of ocean-facing, southerly exposed vineyards perched high up on The Schapenberg and only a mere 2 miles from The Atlantic, Waterkloof is ferociously windswept and benefits from abnormally low average temperatures and an extended growing season. These natural assets, allied to organic and biodynamic farming result in very low yields (1-4 tons/hectare) of grapes imbued with their own natural balance and a distinct sense of place. Logically therefore, from the very first vintage made in 2005, those grapes have been transformed into wine with no additions other than a small amount of sulphur.
Chris & Suzaan Alheit are a husband and wife team. Alheit Vineyards is based on Hemelrand, a mountain farm situated on the Hemel & Aarde Ridge in Walker Bay. The fact that Chris and Suzaan Alheit set out on their venture to make only white wine, is a testament to their commitment to seek out some of the oldest vineyard blocks in the country. Alheit Vineyards has established itself as the most talked about winery in the Cape, with its limited releases being highly sought-after.
Sebastian and Nici Beaumont run the family farm situated in the heart of the town of Bot River in the Walker Bay. The farm, home to the region’s oldest wine cellar, was originally established in the 1700’s by the Dutch East India Company. In the 1940’s the wine business was started but wine production was discontinued in the late 1960’s. Jayne and Raoul Beaumont bought the farm in 1974 and set about planting vines. In 1993 Jayne made their first Pinotage under the Beaumont label. Sebastian joined the business in 1999 after studying viticulture and oenology and set about focusing the production on Chenin Blanc, Pinotage, Syrah and Mourvedre. Old vine Chenin Blanc go into producing their benchmark Hope Marguerite.
The 2014 vintage was the first commercial release from dynamic husband-and-wife winemaking team Mick and Jeanine Craven. Mick (an Aussie) and Jeanine (a Stellenbosch native) met during vintage in California in 2007 and have travelled the winemaking world since, finally settling in Jeanine’s native Stellenbosch.They work with a focus on single sites, and the varieties Pinot Gris, Syrah, Chenin Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Pinot Noir and Cinsault.
They do not use cultured yeasts, enzymes, fining agents throughout the winemaking process. They only use older oak and try their best to find larger format barrels. They allow their wines to stabilise naturally. Essentially a minimal amount of SO2 is the only thing added to their wines.
Located in the historic Constantia Valley, winemaker Duran Cornhill with consultant Martin Meinhert head’s up winemaking at this boutique family owned vineyard (12ha). The focus is the production of a small range of handcrafted wines that are truly expressive of its origin. The property features some of the steepest vineyards in the Cape, ranging from 150m to 400m above sea-level, planted on rocky terraces, chiselled into the Constantia mountains. This combines with North, East and West facing slopes to create varying altitudes and undulations, necessitating the practice of individually handled small batches in the cellar. Overlooking nearby False Bay (10,5km), Viognier, Merlot and Shiraz are the main varieties planted on this cool climate property.
Hogan Wines is a small, family-run business owned by Jocelyn Hogan Wilson and Dunstan Arthur Hogan. After seven years of working with various wineries in the Cape and overseas, Jocelyn decided to team up with with her parents, Dunstan and Trish Hogan. The first harvest was in 2014. Jocelyn’s focus is on old-vine fruit that can tell the story of each vintage, and the vineyard sites are carefully selected to bring out the best qualities of the varieties they work with. For Jocelyn, understanding the nuances of each vineyard is central to making good wine.
The Leeuwenkuil winery is owned by Willie and Emma Dreyer. This Swartland farm dates all the way back to 1693. Willie Dreyer is a true farmer and believes in cultivating soils in a sustainable manner – not only for his own benefit, but for that of future generations as well. He has adopted a biological approach to farming by which he aims to establish the perfect balance in the soil and plants, as this is essential to a well-balanced wine. The vines are largely planted to Syrah and Chenin.
Pieter Carstens heads up the winemaking operation. He is one of the Swartland’s most adored sons. Father of two he describes himself as a Winemaker, aspiring chef, hunter, traveller and fisherman.
Metzer Family Wines started up in 2006, making site specific wines from individual parcels of old vines in the Helderberg region of Stellenbosch. They are members of the Old Vine Project which is now gaining traction to ensure that heritage blocks, vines over 35 years old, are celebrated rather than seen as a burden for the lower yields. Their vineyards are located between 4 and 7 kilometres from the shores of False Bay. Although geographically near to Stellenbosch they are closer in nature to Constantia. The family's aim is to produce wines through artisan and low-intervention winemaking. On the red side they focus on Syrah. For whites their passion is Chenin blanc. They farm sustainably respecting the environment and their workers. In the cellar emphasis is placed on the minimum handling of fruit, wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Mont Blois is situated in the narrow De Hoop valley, six kilometres from downtown Robertson. The farm holdings extend over 3,500 hectares, with around 150ha under vines. The inaugural vintage of 2016 has seen four wines released. All small production, each has been raised with minimal interference with grapes crushed manually, using a basket-press. Fermented with natural yeasts, aged in older French oak and bottled unfiltered. There are three white wines, two of which are single vineyard Chardonnays.
After working several vintages around France, winemakers Chris and Andrea decided to settle in Swartland, drawn there by the potential of working with schist and granite terroirs and old vines. They established their winery in 2007 and joined forces with Leeu Family Wines in 2013. Chris and Andrea Mullineux’s ambition is to bottle wines that are a true expression of the Swartland, and all steps of their winemaking process are taken with this in mind. They work closely with a select group of growers who follow sustainable, reasoned farming practices, as well as owning vineyards at their Roundstone Farm in Riebeeksrivier. In the cellar, apart from minimal amounts of sulphur, nothing is added to or removed from the wine.
Since their 2010 maiden vintage, this Syrah has had a meteoric rise to fame. Owned by Boekenhoutskloof, and with incredible farmer Callie Louw at the helm, this has been dubbed as a “Cape Cornas” by Tim Atkin and every year the scores seem to get higher and higher. The wines are raw, natural, and luminous, much like Callie himself.
Born and raised in the UK, Richard Kershaw enjoyed a successful career as a chef before making the transition into wine. After travelling extensively, he arrived in South Africa in 1999 and, by 2009, was Group Winemaker of Mulderbosch and Kanu. Clearly in possession of an impressive palate, he achieved his Master of Wine in 2011, and is now one of only ten MWs in the world actively making wine. He established Richard Kershaw Wines in January 2012.
He makes his wine in cool climate of Elgin, in the Overberg wine region of the Western Cape. His intention is to create site-specific wines from high-quality French clones of the Chardonnay and Syrah grapes.
Duncan Savage spent 14 vintages as head winemaker and cellar master at the much acclaimed Cape Point Vineyards. As well as getting to know maritime vineyards like the back of his hand, Duncan took them to dizzying heights; more Platter 5 Stars than you can count on your fingers, Winery of the Year, as well as firmly cementing the Cape Peninsula as a top place for Sauvignon Blanc. The desire to produce a white and a red under his own name was realised just days before his 35th birthday, with the launch of his 2012 white and 2011 red. The wines received high critical acclaim (4 and half Platter Stars each) launching Duncan firmly in to the spotlight as one of the Cape's most talented winemakers. Elegance and respect to the terroir are factors that resonate most strongly with Duncan - "to do as little as possible as much as you can."
Sijnn (pronounced ‘Sane’) is a sibling project to David and Rita Trafford’s eponymously named Stellenbosch venture. Sijnn was born in the early 2000s. Their vineyards are planted to Chenin Blanc (3.5ha), Roussanne (1.2ha), Viognier (1.2ha), Syrah (5ha), Mourvèdre (2ha), Touriga Nacional (2ha), Trincadeira (1ha), Cabernet Sauvignon (0.8ha). In addition, there are either new or planned plantings of Grenache, Tempranillo, and Tinta Cão for reds and Assyrtiko, Petit Manseng, Grenache Blanc, Verdelho and Vermentino for the whites. David Trafford will be pouring on Charla's behalf on the day.
Jasper works for AA Badenhorst, but also makes his own wine on the odd day off. After finishing a degree in winemaking at Stellenbosch, Jasper did a number of harvests locally and overseas before landing a job with Adi Badenhorst. In 2012 he released under the Swerver label for the first time – Swerver is the Afrikaans word for someone affected by ‘wanderlust’. Jasper seeks out special sites in Swartland for his grapes and he is largely focused on harvesting fruit from old bushvines.
When not busy producing the much acclaimed wines of DeMorgenzon, Carl Van de Merwe also makes wine under The Great SA Wine Co flag, in partnership with DeMorgenzon proprietor, Wendy Appelbaum. They work with Stellenbosch vineyards, wild sites that are exposed to the elements and inspire a sense of wonder and appreciation, with many high up in the mountains or with close proximity to the ocean. Working with varieties that suit the region of Stellenbosch, Carl aims to make wines that are a delight for the senses, moderate in alcohol and that lift the mood.
Thorne and Daughters Wines was started in 2012 by John and Tasha Seccombe to produce authentic wines in the Western Cape. To produce their wines, they have drawn on the history of wine growing in the Cape, putting together old vineyard parcels with lesser-known grape varieties (such as Semillon Gris), and making wines with old school simplicity and a modern edge. Their approach to wine making is simple, low intervention, honest and gentle; they are looking to make wines that tell a story.