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The Winemakers

The winemaker of our award winning Coastal Cabernet Sauvignon, upcoming Elgin Cabernet Sauvingon and Chardonnay comes from a long line of farmers and winemakers in the Paarl/Perdeberg region (North of Stellenbosch). He cut his teeth as an assistant at Uva Mira, when the estate won Young Winemaker of the Year and then moved on to be the lead winemaker at Slaley before achieving the Cape Wine Master Certification and branching out on his own with a passion for finding the perfect combination of grapes and terroir. The seriousness leaves his face and he brightens up when he speaks of his favorite place – his home overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Pringle Bay, surrounded by a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

The approach of the wine maker who crafts our Safriel House Reserve Cabernet and Rosé is clean and simple and she prefers not to manipulate the process: "wine should taste like the fruit it was made from". This extends to the vineyards where she decides when to pick the grapes and how to handle them once they arrive while looking at the grapes on the vine. This comes from experience. She graduated in 1997 and spent the next five years vinifying two vintages a year: in South Africa and Australia in the Southern Hemisphere fall and Germany in the Northern Fall before spending four years working in Australia. She believes that one of the main attributes that sets her apart is her consistency across vintages.
Her favorite moments in the wine-making process is the fermentation, standing in a quiet winery at night, and hearing the tanks bubble.

 

Our most decorated Chenin Blanc wines (the Reserve Chenin Blanc and Constance Natural Sweet) are made by one of the most versatile winemakers in the Cape. He is hands on but very understated and lets the wines speak for themsleves. He created in a "cellar withing a cellar" environment where he can select grapes from the best vineyard lots for our wine. This frees him from needing to use and entire production for our wine, with vineyard lots not meeting strict quality criteria finding other avenues. His enduring approach is to set trends rather than follow them and to never compromise the exceptional quality of his wines. He grew up on a farm with vineyards and was always interested in wine and vineyards. He studied at Elsenburg Agricultural College, the oldest agricultural college in South Africa and worked his way the long route: starting at an entry level job and working his way to the top.

 

The winemaker who vinified the Safriel House Select Vineyards Cape Classic White grew up on a nearby fruit farm. His first internships were at Fleur du Cap (a part of the Distel conglomerate) and, as contrast, the 350 year old Boschendal Estate. This was followed by experience at Mendocino in California, New Zealand, Australia and Saint-Émilion in France.
On his return back to South Africa in 2009, he worked at the world renowned Nederburg and at Vergelegen (the iconic Somerset West wine estate) before moving to the Franschhoek valley, where he and his wife, who is also a winemaker, live on one of the Franschhoek valley farms.