Mendel brings together one of Argentina’s most respected and experienced winemakers, Roberto de la Mota, with his partner, Anabelle Sielecki’s well-established Argentine family; her father’s first name ‘Mendel’ adorns every label. Together they are dedicated to producing distinctly superior wines, expressing the quality and character of their 89-year-old Malbec vines. Their vineyards are located in Mayor Drummond, between 900m and 1,100m above sea level – some of the highest vineyard land in Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza. Roberto and Annabelle select the best parcels from their old vineyards and pay rigorous attention to every detail of the winemaking process: from picking grapes, to fermentation in small tanks and ageing wines in the finest French oak.
Bodega Tapiz Bodega Tapiz
Owned by the Ortiz family since 2013, Bodega Tapiz sources their grapes from several carefully selected, high altitude vineyards ranging from 915m to 1,340m above sea level, located in Mendoza and Salta. Flanked by the imposing Andes mountain range, these vineyards have unique bio-climatic characteristics, producing wines, which are distinctive expressions of the terroir. The estate’s winemaking facilities are some of the most technologically advanced in Argentina, with quality, value and authenticity being clearly evident in the finished wines. Malbec is their standard-bearer. Their entry Malbec is sourced from two distinct sites, both in the Uco Valley. The wine matures for 8 months in 2nd and 3rd fill barrels (75% French, 25% American oak). The Malbec Reserva originates uniquely from the Finca San Pablo vineyards, located at 1,220m altitude in the Uco Valley. The wine matures for 10 months in 75% French oak and 25% American oak, both new and 2nd fill barrels.
Originally, from St Andrews in Fife, the first of the Campbell clan arrived in Rutherglen over 140 years ago with the intention of mining gold. When the ‘Bobbie Burns’ seam was exhausted, the family stayed on, turning their hands first to sheep farming before diversifying into viticulture. Today fourth generation brothers, Colin and Malcolm Campbell, have re-established the reputation of these once legendary fortified Muscat wines. Their Rutherglen Muscat is aged in a solera system for an average of 5 years.
Situated in the heart of the Kamptal, in the beautiful village of Straß im Staßertale, Allram is a 23ha family-run estate, which is now under the stewardship of 4th generation Michaela Haas-Allram, together with her husband Erich Haas. Viticulture here is as natural as possible, as Michaela and Erich believe this is important to show the great potential of the local terroir. This philosophy, combined with their in-depth knowledge of their prime vineyard sites, results in superb expressions of each grape variety and it is no surprise that Allram is now recognised as one of the best wineries in the region, as well as Lower Austria.
Tegernseerhof has a history that dates back over 1,000 years, with 25 hectares of vineyards located on the finest slopes of the picturesque Wachau region in Austria, formed by the meandering Danube River. Today the estate is owned and run by Martin Mittelbach, whose family have been managing Tegernseerhof for 5 generations. Inspired by ancient winemaking traditions, Martin is passionate about producing the finest expressions of vineyard and grape variety, whether Grüner Veltliner or Riesling, each wine has its own unique personality.
Pedro Parra y Familia Pedro Parra y Familia
Pedro holds a PhD in Terroir from the Paris Centre of Agriculture, with six years’ experience working with French terroirs. As a highly respected consultant working in several countries (Chile, Argentina, USA, Italy, Canada, France, Armenia), Pedro brings an open mind and vision to winemakers and viticulturists alike. As a result, his innovative work was included in the prestigious “Decanter Magazine Power List” in 2009, 2011 and 2013. Pedro has been described as the leading figure of the “New Chile” movement by the international press, in part because of his constant endeavour to bring a new vision to the Chilean wine industry, searching for quality terroirs and developing new plantings throughout the country. All of the vineyards he works with are located in the South of Chile, about 400 km south of Santiago. The soils here are a mix of 220-300 million years old schist and granite.
Casas del Bosque Casas del Bosque
Founded in 1993, Casas del Bosque was one of the first wineries to be established in the Casablanca Valley. The family-run estate covers 245 hectares of vines on the cooler, west side of the valley planted mainly to white varieties, whilst there are a further 35 hectares in Rapel dedicated to red varietals. The hardworking winemaking team, Grant Phels, Bridget Percy, Pilar González and Ken Bernard, combine their considerable talents to produce elegant, complex wines with a great focus on quality rather than quantity.
Rathfinny Estate Rathfinny Estate
The Rathfinny Wine Estate was established by Mark & Sarah Driver in 2010 with the express intention of producing some of the world’s best sparkling wine. Located near Alfriston in the South Downs of Sussex; one of England’s exceptional natural landscapes; Rathfinny occupies a perfect south-facing slope just three miles from the sea. Its climate, chalk soils and aspect make it probably the most perfect place to produce wine in a region that is already producing some of the best, award winning English sparkling wines. With a state-of-theart winery capable of producing over one million bottles annually, the Drivers’ aim to achieve quality levels that will see their Sussex Sparkling wine gain international recognition. The region is now widely regarded as producing some of the world’s best sparkling wines and has the ultimate intention of making “Sussex” synonymous with high quality English Sparkling Wines. Rathfinny’s first 50 acres of vines were planted in April 2012 in the full expectation of having up to 400 acres of the 600 acre Estate under vines. June 2018 sees the very first launch of Rathfinny Sussex Sparkling wine with the three of the world’s principal grape varieties used for its production – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.
Jean Stodden Jean Stodden
The Stodden family has been involved in winemaking in the Ahr Valley since 1578. Today Alexander Stodden is responsible for producing some of the greatest and most distinctive Pinot Noir’s in Germany. Quality is the key to production: pruning is carried out both in winter and spring, with a green harvest in summer. All the grapes are handpicked and undergo selection within both the vineyards and cellar. The slate soils offer the wines a specific flavour profile, with a defining pithy edge. If Pinot Noir was grown in Savennières, it would probably taste like this.
Gault Millau German ‘Winemaker of the Year’ in 1999, Helmut Dönnhoff has now relinquished the reigns of the estate to his equally dedicated and talented son, Cornelius. This is the most highly regarded cellar in the entire Nahe Valley and is deservedly thought of as one of the finest Riesling producers in the world. Helmut and Cornelius are convinced that their recent vintages show the power, intensity and minerality for which their wines have become so renowned.
The Leitz family have a history of winemaking in Rüdesheim dating all the way back to 1744. The current generation, Johannes Leitz took control in 1985 and has since taken the estate from strength to strength, growing it from 2.9 hectares to 40 hectares today. This growth has had a positive influence over all the ranges of the wines produced. Specifically, the Rüdesheim vineyard of Berg Schlossberg has continued its tradition of being amongst the top dry wines from Germany.
A First Growth since 1732 and part of the World Heritage Site of Tokaj declared in 2002, the 104 hectares of Disznókő vineyards have always been sought-after due to their supreme quality. Once owned by influential aristocratic families and then nationalised, the estate has been under the ownership of AXA Millésimes since 2002. With its expertise and experience in Aszú winemaking, Disznókő is recognized today as being in the forefront of the renaissance of these truly great Tokaji wines.
La Farra La Farra
With Innocente and Guido Nardi at the helm, La Farra is a family-run estate located in the heart of Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG, the region that produces the finest Proseccos. Innocente’s and Guido’s philosophy is to produce top class wines from top quality grapes, hand-harvested from their own vineyards. Their Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG Brut is a superb result of this philosophy: elegant with great intensity and individual character
Martoccia di Brunelli Luca Martoccia di Brunelli Luca
In 1964, the Brunelli family bought a small farm comprising some 3 hectares of vines in Martoccia, on the edge of Montalcino. In 1988, Mauro and his son Luca purchased a further parcel of land so that now the estate totals 15 hectares, of which 5 hectares are classified as Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. The vineyards are located on the southwest side of Montalcino at an average altitude of 250m, ensuring that the wines express as much fragrance as possible. Luca encourages low yields in order to focus on quality and authenticity.
Dedication, determination and an unflinching enthusiasm to portray the unique characters of Umbria are central to the winemaking philosophy of owners Ernesto and Remo Sportoletti. When Riccardo Cotarella took over as Sportoletti’s consultant oenologist in 1998, he created a fine winemaking regime that took Ernesto and Remo’s vision and turned Sportoletti into a highly regarded player on the world stage. Superbly sited high up in the Umbrian hills in Spello (very close to Assisi), Sportoletti’s 20 hectares of vineyards are densely planted with low yielding clones to intensify the wines’ character.
Château Marsyas Château Marsyas
Located 60km from Beirut on the alluvial plains of the Bekaa Valley at the foot of Mount Barouk, with an altitude that touches 990 metres, Château Marsyas’ 35 hectares of vineyards (planted in 2006) are steeped in history, dating back to the ancient civilisations. Owned by the Saadé family, Château Marsyas believes that ‘wine is rooted in the earth’ and staying true to this philosophy, Sandro Saadé works with the help of the world famous Bordeaux winemaking consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt to produce superbly elegant wines, with a unique character from these red clay on pure limestone soils.
Awatere River by Louis Vavasour Awatere River by Louis Vavasour
First settling in New Zealand in 1887, the Vavasour family pioneered commercial grape growing and winemaking. Drawing on over a century of their family’s winemaking tradition, Peter and Anna Vavasour created the Awatere River Wine Company in 1986 by planting the first vines in the Dashwood district of Marlborough. Made in limited quantities, Awatere River by Louis Vavasour (Peter and Anna’s son) is a collection of award winning, premium quality wines that reflect the distinctive terroir of the alluvial river flats on which they were grown. Opting not to trade on the family name, but to focus on everything he loves most about the region, Louis’ Pinot Gris has an exceptional length, structure and complexity.
Giesen (Premium Range) Giesen (Premium Range)
Giesen’s first vineyard, established in 1981, was located south of Marlborough in Burnham, an area on the outskirts of Christchurch. The Giesen brothers, Alex, Marcel and Theo, originally from Germany, cultivated the world’s southernmost vineyard at the time. In 1993, they moved north to Marlborough, where they purchased and converted a dairy farm into vineyards. The Giesen family now own and manage 13 vineyard sites in Marlborough, mainly the Wairau Valley, planted primarily to Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, with organic viticulture playing a significant role in several locations.
Bell Hill Vineyard Bell Hill Vineyard
Bell Hill Vineyard, so named for the bell-like shape on the southern side of its hill, was established in 1997 by Marcel Giesen and Sherwyn Veldhuizen. Situated in an ancient, north-facing limestone quarry in the Weka Pass, North Canterbury, the vineyard now covers 2 hectares of high-density plantings. The Weka Pass area was previously unplanted with grapes, but Marcel and Sherwyn were drawn to the pure chalky limestone soils and calcareous clays. With a delicate touch and focus on excellence, Marcel and Sherwyn are passionate about using Burgundian techniques to craft their stunning range of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. Biodynamic farming is also at the heart of their vineyard activities, as they believe it is integral to growing top quality fruit, whilst allowing for the ultimate expression of this unique terroir.
Domaine Rewa Domaine Rewa
We are thrilled to be working with Domaine Rewa, an up and coming producer from the Central Otago. With a tiny 5.5ha single vineyard nestled in the foothills of the Pisa Range on the unique fluvial terrace, owner Philippa Fourbet, together with winemaker Pete Bartle, is pursuing her lifelong dream of producing refined wines from her homeland in Central Otago inspired by the elegance of Burgundy. These superbly pure and perfumed wines are produced following a biodynamic regime in order to fashion the best possible expressions of their Central Otago terroir.
Dewaldt Heyns Dewaldt Heyns
Dewaldt Heyns, one of the most talented South African winemakers, has finally achieved his lifelong dream of making wines from the tiny parcel of ancient vines in his father’s 1.1ha vineyards in Paardeberg Valley, Swartland. Inspired by his time spent learning his craft in the Rhône, it is clear to see the ‘Old World’ influence on his wines, especially his Shiraz ‘Weathered Hands’.
Nestled at the foot of the mountain after which it is named, Saronsberg wine estate is a contemporary addition to the rich heritage of Tulbagh Valley. Created by Nick van Huyssteen, Saronsberg is managed by Dewaldt Heyns and it is clear to see his love of Rhône winemaking styles in the two Shiraz-dominated wines under the ‘Artspace & Provenance’ labels, which are cracking value for the price.
Since joining Chamonix in 2001, winemaker Thinus Neethling continues to work the magic of this 50ha estate’s wines, following the principal that great wines begin at the vine. With some of the highest altitude vineyards in the Franschhoek Valley planted predominantly on greywacke soils, Thinus favours low yields, traditional viticultural practices and wild ferments to produce these pure and unique expressions of the terroir, which are some of the very best examples from the region.
Nuy Winery Nuy Winery
Nuy (pronounced Nay) Muskadel is a Cape classic, although barely known outside of South Africa. Winning acclaim with every vintage, it is a sweet and ridiculously inexpensive fortified dessert wine, delicious on release, but also with great potential for ageing. Muskadel (Afrikaans spelling) is the local name for both Muscat de Frontignan and Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains. The production method involves mulching the grapes and allowing the juice to remain in contact with the skins for 36 to 48 hours. After separation, the skins are pressed and then the must is fortified to around 16.5% alcohol. Very little, if any, fermentation takes place. It can be served chilled or at room temperature for older examples. The wine is extremely durable on opening, remaining fresh for many weeks, making it an ideal choice for restaurants wanting to offer a cracking by-the-glass pouring option.
Lukas van Loggerenberg Lukas van Loggerenberg
Lukas completed his first solo vintage in 2016. He owns no vines, but his contact list allowed him to secure some great sources of quality grapes. His winemaking facility is currently a packing shed once used by Neil Ellis in Devon Valley, so it is no surprise that production is currently tiny. ‘Geronimo’ is four barrels from two parcels of Cinsault: two barriques from 30-year-old vines on the Bredell farm in Faure, with the balance from 45-year-old material on Jacobsdal, also in Polkerdraai.
Tokara prides itself on making wines that are site specific, produced from their picturesque, prime location vineyards on the southern slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain, the Highlands in the Elgin district and Siberia in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley near Hermanus. High altitude sites with cool temperatures contribute to the restrained and elegant style of winemaker Miles Mossop.
Miles Mossop Miles Mossop
Not only is Miles Mossop the winemaker at the high profile Tokara estate in Stellenbosch, he has been making tiny amounts of awardwinning wines under his own, eponymous label from sourced grapes since 2004. Using old bush vines grown on decomposed granite soils, his Chenin Blanc/ Viognier blend, ‘Saskia’, is named after his first daughter. Miles’ classic red Bordeaux blend is unsurprisingly named ‘Max’ after his son and his trio is completed by his superb botrytised Noble Late Harvest Chenin Blanc, ‘Kika’.
Situated on the slopes of the Bottelary Hills, their 146 hectares of vines are spread across a wide range of different soil types, altitudes and orientation, allowing Gary and Kathy Jordan the opportunity to plant each variety in the most suitable location. Hard working and diligent, there is never any sense of complacency here as the couple strive to consolidate their reputation as one of the most consistent and reliable estates in the Cape
Located in Devon Valley, Stellenbosch, American-born Ginny Povall is a self-taught winemaker who is a rising star amongst the South African wine scene. With the aim of using minimally invasive winemaking techniques to produce wines that express their vineyards’ origins, Ginny is currently sourcing her grapes from local respected growers whilst she waits for her own vines to mature. The Chenin Blanc grapes come from 50 year old bush vines on the arid Skurfberg Mountain, 40km from the Atlantic and just shy of 500m altitude. The Pinot Noir is sourced from grapes grown on the Paul Cluver farm in Elgin, accounting for just 300 cases. These exquisitely labelled wines, carrying 18th Century British artist, Mary Delany’s botanical cut-paper collages, are extremely elegant and well deserve their award-winning status.
The Liberator The Liberator
Beyond the periphery of South Africa’s conventional vineyard regions lie great vinous treasures, resigned to anonymity: forgotten, abandoned or just simply undiscovered. It is the mission of Richard Kelley MW to seek out and liberate these rare parcels of wines; maybe they come from an occasional experimental batch or possibly an interesting off-cut from some proud winemaker’s latest premium release. As ‘The Liberator’, Richard procures these precious vinous orphans and consigns them to a better home.
The Foundry The Foundry
Established in 2000, The Foundry is the brainchild of Meerlust cellar master, Chris Williams, in partnership with his long-term friend James Reid. Working closely with a handful of growers, long-term contracts have been concluded for specific rows of vines to meet The Foundry’s demand for high quality fruit which is expressive of its sourced vineyards. Grapes are vinified, bottled & matured at Meerlust Estate in Stellenbosch separately, taking great care not to over-extract or manipulate the fruit. Both traditional and modern techniques are used. Since 2010 The Foundry has had a new home in the Voor-Paardeberg area. Their intention is to eventually locate all
Alheit Vineyards Alheit Vineyards
Based on Hemelrand, a beautiful mountain farm situated high on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge in Walker Bay, Alheit Vineyards is owned by Chris and Suzaan Alheit and is very much a family affair. Inspired by their time spent working in vineyards across Europe, Chris and Suzaan are passionate about producing wines with a true sense of place, using minimal intervention in the vineyard and winery. They specialise in producing hand-crafted whites, as they believe that the grape varietals have the right level of transparency and purity to express their origins and the results speak for themselves.
Thorne & Daughters Thorne & Daughters
Blending old vine parcels with new grape varieties, John ‘Thorne’ Seccombe and his wife Tasha make wines inspired by their two young daughters. Rocking Horse is a Cape White Blend, which takes its name from a wooden rocking horse that John and Tasha made for their eldest daughter out of old oak barrel staves. Using Roussanne as the main variety, instead of the traditional Chenin Blanc, and incorporating Chardonnay and Semillon, The Rocking Horse is layered and complex, evolving beautifully in the glass.
Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Newton Johnson Family Vineyards
This family farm was founded in the mid-1990s by Cape Wine Master, Dave Johnson and his wife, Felicity (née Newton) and within the past twenty years has built a reputation for producing some of the South Africa’s finest Pinot Noir. Three Platter Five Star wines in the current guide is a fine achievement. Today it is very much their son Gordon, partnered by his wife, Nadia, who are responsible for the winemaking, whilst Bevan looks after the commercial aspects of the business. A total of 18 hectares are planted to vines. Whilst the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have already established fine reputations, the two Syrah-based wines can also claim to be highly regarded. Full Stop Rock takes its name from the infamous rock on the surf-break at Cape St Francis.
Domaine de Bargylus Domaine de Bargylus
In 1998, Sandro Saadé’s father had the vision of producing fine wines from the slopes of Mount Bargylus, near the Roman city of Antioch in Syria. Sharing his father’s passion, Sandro continues this dream through Domaine de Bargylus, working with the help of the world famous Bordeaux winemaking consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt. His aim is to produce powerful and complex wines, which are typically Mediterranean in style, from the estate’s 20 hectares of beautiful vineyards planted in 2003 on ancient soils lying 990m above sea level facing the Mediterranean Sea. All vintages of the Domaine de Bargylus Rouge benefit from a light carafing.