Impressive new releases from Franco Lourens, a new South African star

Chris Alheit and Franco Lourens

Franco Lourens is assistant winemaker with Chris Alheit, and also makes his own wines in the Alheit cellar in Hemel-en-Aarde. I tasted through the latest releases of the Lourens Family Wines and was really impressed, especially by the two new Chenin Blancs. These are pretty serious.

 

Lourens Family Wines Lindi Carien […]

The wines of Lismore, Greyton, South Africa

Samantha O’Keefe, Lismore

Samantha O’Keefe must be pretty tough. She has a spectacular wine farm in the middle of nowhere, and she’s been running it pretty much single-handedly since the beginning, as well as being a single mum to two boys. And financially, this has not been the easiest of rides, either, with fluctuating yields […]

New releases from Newton Johnson, Hemel-en-Aarde, South Africa

Gordy Newton Johnson

It was great to catch up with Gordon and Nadia Newton-Johnson to try through the latest releases from this well regarded Hemel-en-Aarde producer (for more details on them, see my extensive write up here).

‘The vineyards are now 15 years old and they are starting to make more sense on their own,’ says […]

Video: harvest at Gabrielskloof 3, making whites

In the third and final video from the 2018 harvest at Gabrielskloof, in South Africa’s Bot River wine region, I look at how white wines are made:

 

Part 2, red winemaking:

 

Part 1: in the vineyard:

Harvest at Gabrielskloof:

Managing red wine ferments
Vineyard sampling
Collecting grapes
Pressing Chenin Blanc and sorting Pinot Noir
Pressing Grenache Gris and barrel work
The final instalment

Video: an epic tasting of 93 of South Africa's top sparkling wines

To most Brits, MCC refers to the Marylebone Cricket Club and it’s an abbreviation synonymous with this most complex and beguiling of sports (one of the many that we Brits invented – we have a talent for this!). But to wine nuts who’ve taken more than a passing interest in what’s taking place in South […]

Thorne & Daughters, one of South Africa's most exciting producers

John Seccombe

John Seccombe is the man behind Thorne and Daughters. John has a calm, reassuring presence, and a voice made for radio, and the locals – who can’t pronounce his name (it should be ‘secc-comm’) – know him as Seccom-bee.

John met his wife Tasha while they were both studying at Stellenbosch, and after they […]

Video: harvest at Gabrielskloof part 2, making reds

Here’s part 2 of the three short films I shot during my 10 days at Gabrielskloof. Here I’m showing red winemaking.

 

In case you missed it, here’s part 1: in the vineyard:

Harvest at Gabrielskloof:

Managing red wine ferments
Vineyard sampling
Collecting grapes
Pressing Chenin Blanc and sorting Pinot Noir
Pressing Grenache Gris and barrel work
The final instalment

Video: vintage at Gabrielskloof part 1

While I was taking part in vintage at Gabrielskloof a couple of weeks ago, I did quite a bit of filming. So I’ll be making three films, and this is the first, focusing on the vineyards. Picking decisions, picking grapes, then picking up the picked grapes.

Harvest at Gabrielskloof:

Managing red wine ferments
Vineyard sampling
Collecting grapes
Pressing Chenin Blanc […]

Marelise Niemann's Momento wines, Bot River, South Africa

Marelise Niemann

Marelise Niemann is a champion of Grenache. Her label, Momento, began officially in 2013, when she was still working at Beaumont in the Bot River region of South Africa. Beaumont was her first proper job as a winemaker, although after university she did 8 months in California in 2007. She began at Beaumont […]

Crystallum: some of South Africa's most compelling Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Crystallum is the wine label of Peter-Allan Finlayson (above), who set up in partnership with his brother (Andrew, a Hermanus-based architect) and his Dad (Peter, who was the first winemaker in Hemel-en-Arde with Hamilton Russel, and who for a long time now has been cellar master at Bouchard Finlayson).

Peter-Allan, though, is the main dude here, […]