Each new wine is like a child. Each child displays their uniqueness, offers promise and evokes a range of emotions.
Each new wine is like a child. Each child displays their uniqueness, offers promise and evokes a range of emotions but there are no guarantees. I am involved in their initial development, giving my all, but once bottled and released into the world, I must stand back and let go. I wait to accept either praise in the face of progress or criticism in the face of defeat.
My move to Hermanus had as much to do with a love for the sea and her spoils as it did for the challenge of winemaking. The ocean has proved exhilarating, over the years an endless array of culinary delights and a playground for diving and swimming alike.
In my student days we were undeterred by the icy water, bare- backed and breathless we numbed the pain with large gulps of sickeningly sweet, fortified muscadel. These reckless times were defined by our studies. The pursuit of a degree in Oenology gave rise to Friday afternoon “educational” wine tastings, a precursor perhaps to many a wayward, wine- fueled weekend.
When later presented with the offer of opening a fledgling winery in the relatively unknown Hemel-en- Aarde Valley I naturally jumped at the challenge. It was a combination of the relatively cool climate and the allure of quality Chardonnay and Pinot noir production which eventually triggered the growth of the Hermanus wine region.
The Bouchard Finlayson domain was launched in 1989 with the first wines being released in 1991. Increased acknowledgement and continued momentum gave rise to our rapid establishment. In the year 2000 the Tollman family arrived on scene as primary investors, successfully backing and guiding brand recognition which then was at the tender cusp of metamorphosis. It has taken a generational leap to bring relative fame to the valley and specifically to our estate and it is with this handing over of the reigns that I am now free to enjoy the simple rewards of warmth and wine, safe in the snugness of soft arms and sultry sunsets.