While Gauteng will probably never acquire a reputation as a wine producing area, there is now a local viticulture outpost in Johannesburg, Gerakaris Family Wines. The first of its kind, this boutique winery specializes in ‘gariste’ style wines.
It is a subversive style of wine making that emerged in the Bordeaux region of France in the 1990’s, and saw winemakers break with tradition to produce less formal wines. In the South African context, ‘gariste’ refers less to the style and more to volume of wine produced. A ‘gariste’ wine is a production run of less than 40 barrels or 12,000 bottles — the amount which can fit into a double garage.
Situated on the historic REEA nursery property in Craighall, the winery is a beautifully minimalist space lit with huge lightbulbs on cord rope. Bottled wines line up neatly on the floor along one wall, while large fermentation tanks line another. There is a big scrubbed pine tasting-table inside for tasting, and a veranda that opens onto a lawn with a large weeping willow, beyond which lies Delta park. Picnics are encouraged. Next door there is an organic vegetable garden, where you can buy fresh produce, and horses trot by from the nearby stable.