Producers

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Tim Atkin’s Young Winemaker of the Year 2017

Demand for these wines always far outstrips supply

Chris Alheit is already a legend despite his young age. He and his equally young wife, Suzaan make some of the Cape's most exciting white wines with a strong focus on the origin of the grapes. Their main production is Chenin Blanc blended with small amounts of Semillon called Cartology. In addition, they also make a tiny quantity of two seaparate Chenin Blanc vineyard bottlings called Magnetic North Mountain Makstok and Radio Lazarus. Sadly the Radio Lazarus will not be made anymore because of the impact of three years of drought on the old vines. Demand for these wines always far outstrips supply and we are thrilled to have an allocation of the precious Cartology this past few years.

Fine wine is grown rather than made

 "We aim to vinify extraordinary Cape vineyards. In doing so, we hope to find the voice of the land itself. Whether that voice be a choir of amazing blocks blended into one bottle, or the purity and beauty of a single vineyard soloist. We strongly believe that fine wine is grown, rather than made. In our cellar, a vineyard is allowed to become a wine without interference."

Visit http://www.alheitvineyards.co.za

Alheit Vineyards South Africa

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'Richard Kershaw MW has turned the world of New World Chardonnay on its head' - Greg Sherwood MW

Site specific, clonal selection, cool climate wines in Elgin

Born and raised in the UK, Richard enjoyed a successful career as a chef before finding wine. After travelling extensively, he arrived in South Africa in 1999 and by 2009 was Group Winemaker of Mulderbosch and Kanu. Richard is International Master of Wine (MW), one of only MWs worldwide making their own wine. He is now pursuing his dream of making his own site specific and clonally selected wines in the cool climate of Elgin.  Richard's endless knowledge and understanding of winemaking in all it's parts has led him to produce extraordinarily good wines from Chardonnay, Syrah and more recently Pinot Noir in Elgin's cool climate.

His attention to detail filters down to smaller points such as are apparent on the beautiful labels and packaging. You can read more about this here including an explanation of the hallmark on the label reflecting his Sheffield origins.  However, the level of detail goes for beyond this as Richard is always happy to explain

Richard's website  is a mine of information on all aspects of wine and winemaking. He also writes technical blogs, lectures for the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) recently set up in South Africa and is much in demand for wine show judging.

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Doran Vineyards

Irishman Edwin Doran lives the dream as a Wild Geese wine producer in the Fair Cape!

And old friend, now business partner André Badenhorst has worldclass winemaking in his pedigree for generations

Edwin Andre at Doran Wines

Edwin Doran was born in Leixlip and educated in Belvedere College where he was introduced to rugby which, together with food and wine, became his life’s passions.

In July 1974, Edwin set up a travel business in Twickenham which grew into the world’s largest sports tour operator. After nearly 35 years, he sold his company in November 2008 and, continuing to live the dream, bought a 400 acre wine farm in the Voor Paardeberg with his close friend, Andre Badenhorst, a name very familiar in South African wine circles. André was born at Groot Constantia where his father was general manager for 46 years. He spent much of his life  

A keen wine enthusiast, Edwin built up a very interesting private wine collection over the years and then sold it to pay for the new cellar with its 20 stainless steel tanks.

In their wisedom and to their good fortune, they appointed the young and very talented Martin Lamprecht as winemaker. I met Edwin & Martin in Cape Town to taste their wines prior to bottling their first vintage. They came with a few plastic bottles and I thought  'what's this about?.' However, on tasting, I was really impressed. We even did a little bit of blending trial runs.  Doran’s style focuses on their top quality fruit combined with judicious use of oak with delicacy & finesse.

Edwin Doran considers himself a very lucky man to have his hobby as his occupation and was really chuffed to have had the worldwide launch of his Doran Family Wines on Irish soil at the Dubolin Bay Wine Experience in 2013. 

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Lismore Wine Estate 1884 x 964

Pioneering Sam O'Keefe makes world class wines at Lismore 

Snow, Baboons and Leopard among the challenges in the vineyard

Samantha OKeefe JpgSamantha O'Keefe grew up in California but her grandfather hailed from the south of Ireland. She found herself in the Cape where whe stumbled on an old disused dairy farm called Lismore. The farm, where Sam works single handledly is located in the remote mountainous area of Greyton two hours from Cape Town at the end of a dirt road. She is now one of the Cape's most talented winemakers particularly with a range of single varietal wines both red and white. There is hardly a week that goes by that one of her wines is not lauded by wine writers across the globe.

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Mullineux Roundstone vineyard

Chris & Andrea Mullineux are highly regarded around the world for their magical touch in the vineyard & cellar

Andrea Mullineux - Wine Enthusiast Winemaker of the Year 2016 - a first for a winemaker in the Cape

Chris Andrea MullineuxYoung winemakers, Chris and Andrea Mullineux, are making sensational wines in this area of old bush vines and dry land farming.

Chenin and Syrah are the dominant grapes supported by other southern Rhone and Mediteranean varietals. Under the Mullineux Family Wines label, they make a Syrah, a white blend dominated by Chenin supported by Clairette Blanche and Viognier as well as a Straw Wine from Chenin. In addition, they make a very special range of single terroir wines in limited quantities from varied soil type including granite, schist and iron while their Kloof Street range punches well above it's weight for your buck.

Bywords would include sustainable reasoned farming, natural, minimalist, nothing added or removed apart from minimal sulphur

They are founding members of the Swartland Independent Producers - a group of like-minded winemakers in the area. Their strict criteria & values are self imposed and regulated. Any certified wine from the Swartland will have a SIP Logo sticker and a unique bottle numner.

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'One of the Cape's most highly rated classic estates high above Stellenbosch with breathtaking views

Old orchards, rolling hills, virgin mountainside and of course those iconic eucalyptus trees for the mint

Back in 1983, the McLean Family Trust bought the old fruit farm Thelema, situated on the top of the Helshoogte Pass about 6 kilometers outside of Stellenbosch. This purchase was the culmination of a long search by Gyles and Barbara Webb for that rare location where exceptional wines could be made, for this was their sole intention.

The farm comprises 157 ha of land on the slopes of the Simonsberg. The elevation ranges from 370 to 640 meters above sea level of mainly south-facing slopes, making Thelema one of the highest and probably coolest wine farms in the Stellenbosch area. Although wine had been made on the farm in the early part of the century and table grapes produced until the late 1960's, there were no vines on the farm at the time of purchase. The 25 ha under cultivation consisted of plums, apples and pears in varying stages of degeneration. The neglected state of the farm could not detract from its charm - there are spectacular views of the Simonsberg, Drakenstein and Jonkershoek Mountains and the farm is dotted with enormous oak trees. It has, however, involved an enormous effort to convert Thelema into a wine farm. The farm workers housing has been renovated and new cottages built and the old Cape Victorian farmhouse restored. The orchards have gradually made way for vineyards and virgin mountainside cleared and prepared to increase the arable land to about 40 ha. Detailed tests of the soil have revealed them to be high potential decomposed granite with excellent water-retention capacity.

In 2000 Thelema bought Sutherland, an apple orchard in the Elgin Valley. To date 45 hectares of vines have been planted on this cool-climate site, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Grenache and Pinot Noir. The rolling hills and close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean offers excellent conditions for vines. All the Sutherland fruit is transported to Thelema for vinification, and bottled under the Thelema Sutherland label.

Gyles Webb directs all farming and winery operations, and the remaining directors are wife Barbara and sister-in-law Jenny de Tolly while Gyles' son, Thomas, is involved in general management, sales and marketing.

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'At the top of one of the Cape's most jarring roads lie some of its most compelling wines'  Wine Spectator's James Molesworth 2013

Understanding the land to coax something special from it

André Morganthal first brought us to meet David Trafford, founder and winemaker at De Trafford wines, in April 1998. For me, this was an amazing visit at the time. Because the winemaking was all done very traditionally, by hand and on a very small scale, it was very easy to see at first hand all of the steps involved in the winemaking process - remember, I was studying for the WSET Diploma at the time and this particular visit gave me huge understanding of the details of the process. The tiny basket press used for the Straw Wine /Vin de Paille looked like a toy but it still in active use today.

david traffordDavid Trafford is an architect with no formal training as a winemaker. Who could imagine this when they taste his wines? David says:

"...understanding and working with the vineyard to coax something magical from the land, after that it's hold thumbs you don't cock it up in the cellar. I never chose winemaking as a profession – it was thrust upon me. I chose Architecture as a profession, but live on land with such great vineyard potential, it was impossible not to get involved in the wine business."

A working knowledge of winemaking gleaned from local winemakers, a vintage spent at St Emilion and David's own practical experience has ensured a steady flow of wines of ever increasing sophistication that seem to evolve and live for ever. 

Today, David is one of the Cape's most widely admired and respected winemakers among his peers with an acute appreciation of nature and sense of time and place. David is also disarmingly shy, humorous, and honest while exuding his quiet  When not making wine he goes to physio to repair his back, he walks in the mountains, jogs, swims, plays tennis, squash and golf.

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Paul Cluver Family Image

Having known the Cluver family for several years, it is an honour and privilege to represent their wines here in Ireland.

The Paul Cluver Estate is part of the De Rust, one of the largest and oldest estates in Elgin. The De Rust farm was originally bought by Dr Paul Clüver’s great grandfather in 1896 to provide summer grazing for their livestock. In the mid 1980’s, the Elgin area was identified as a cool climate wine-growing appellation which is similar to the famed region of Burgundy in France. In 1986 the first plantings of noble varietals were made.

The wines of the estate are the result of a close knit family who are dedicated to the holistic production of fine wines. They are guided by now retired neirosurgeon, Dr Paul Clüver,  whose pioneering spirit created the building blocks for Paul Cluver Wines with very strong support from his beautiful and very capable wife, Songvei. "Our vision is to make a meaningful difference. We strive for excellence in everything we do while being mindful of the impact our actions will have." The vision is being carried on under his direction by his son, Paul Clüver Junior, son-in-law and winemaker Andries Burger and daughters Inge and Liesl. Another daughter, Karin, is responsible for the enormous apple farm production while Heidi, the only family member not directly involved, lives in Hermanus. They are also all heavily involved in the upliftment of the De Rust farming community with a long established school on the farm along with several other initiatives.

In a ground breaking initiative in 1996, Dr Paul Clüver was at the forefront of the establishment of the Thandi Project, a partnership between the State, the surrounding community and private enterprise with the aim of creating ownership, empowerment and a sustainable business for the community. Thandi wines are now available internationally and are bearing the fruits of Thandi’s mission statement: “With love we grow together”.

The Paul Cluver Estate is situated within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, a marine and floral kingdom which covers the entire coastal region from Gordon’s Bay to the Bot River vlei and inland to Grabouw and the Groenland Mountain. The high, cool Elgin Mountain plateau, with it’s proximity to the sea and protection by the surrounding mountains is ideally suited for the production of premium varietal wines. This environment is ideally suited for slower ripening grapes yielding the delicacy and  that characterise the wines of Paul Cluver. The idea behind the holistic production of wines within this Biosphere links conservation, development and the sustainable use of natural resources which create a harmonious balance between man and nature.

Dr Paul Cluver

 

Dr Paul Cluver was honoured with a Lifetime Achievment Award in 2010 for his work in so many areas - agriculture, wine farming, cool climate viticulture, education, health, research, ethics, business, black empowerment, biodiversity, conservancy, Fairtrade not to mention his career as a world renowned neurosurgeon or his handcrafting skills on the farm - he has built an amphitheatre, several bridges and large items of furniture on the farm as wellas being an avid gardener.

A man who seems to be able to do anything and excel at everything.

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The Buitenverwachting estate, established in 1796, was originally planted by Simon van der Stel, the first governor of the Cape and the founder of South Africa as we know it today. It was originally part of the larger Constantia estate which split by Simon’s son into three parts, the others being Groote & Klein Constantia. Lars Maack and his talented winemaker, Hermann Kirschbaum’s approach is diametrically opposed to the “show young, die early” school with attractive but shortterm fruit but no site specific character. This is particularly apparent in the way their Sauvignons evolve over time. The 2005 Sauvignon Blanc is drinking beautifully at the moment with so much depth of flavour, minerality, balance elegance and length - not what we generally associate with a sauvignon. All of their wines are at a quality level well above their price point.

About Kinnegar

Kinnegar Wines was born almost by accident and been growing organically since.

In 1998, I was in the midde of a two year diploma course with the London Wine & Spirits Trust when an opportunity came up to visit South Africa's Western Cape. Naturally, I was keen to avail of the opportunity to learn more about viticulture and winemaking in South Africa.

We had an excellent guide who brought us to a number of the Cape's leading estates including Thelema and De Trafford where we had in depth vineyard and cellars tours. At the end of the day, I wanted to take back some of the wonderful wines we had tasted for our own use. It was not possible to take two or three cases of wine with us on our flight and shipping such a small quantity was more than the cost of wines. So I had the mad idea of shipping a pallet! Clearly, I had to start selling these wines and so began Kinnegar Wines. Ashford Castle took many of the wines and continue to list them and newer arrivals ever since.

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