Your most memorable wine moment? There have been many: the first time I made my own wine, during my three-year internship with the Cape Winemakers Guild; the time I experienced a harvest in France, where I assisted with making chardonnay at Domaine Pattes Loup in Courgis, Chablis; and definitely being appointed white-wine maker at Nederburg in late 2017.
What’s the most popular white wine on the shelves in terms of sales? Chenin blanc. We’ve seen a rise in popularity of this variety, both locally and internationally. There’s also been quite a growing interest, from a Nederburg perspective, in our aromatic wines such as riesling and gewürztraminer.
What other wine trends should we look out for? Unusual grape varieties and styles, such as albariño, gewürztraminer, graciano, roussanne, tempranillo, tannat, verdelho, viura. Nederburg is one of only two producers in South Africa with access to albariño grapes, giving us a distinct advantage.
Another trend is to produce minimum-intervention natural wine. Sustainability is most definitely a hot topic, not only in South Africa but globally. Nederburg grows and makes wine in a way that is environmentally sustainable. Wine drinkers across the world are also increasingly seeking out wines with slightly lower alcohols that still offer a spectrum and intensity of flavour. Less oak-dominated wine styles and an increased emphasis on freshness are some of the trends we’re observing and acting on.