Winemaker Riandri Visser of Cape Point Vineyards
Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhoek is far removed from the gabled cosiness of Stellenbosch or the flashy brilliance of Franschhoek. It is a place of wide-open skies, cold seas, mountains and long, seemingly endless beaches. It is a perfect place to make white-wine varietals, but where Sauvignon Blanc fares particularly well. Young winemaker Riandri Visser has been there since 2014, making waves of her own in an area much loved by surfers. The wines she makes spring from a deep-rooted love of the land, a passion for being outside. She says, “I have fallen in love with the vineyards. It is where I find my energy.” Her wines, intense and packed with flavours and aromas of the Cape, are perfect reflections of what she is thinking. The new Cape Town Wine of Origin appellation includes Cape Peninsula, Constantia, Philadelphia and Durbanville and means that all these areas can draw grapes from each other. Cape Point have named these wines Cape Town Wine Co.
“I use my understanding of science to make wine, but get emotionally invested in my work,
just like an artist
One has to wonder when first meeting Riandri Visser how anyone so young and attractive, so really nice, so unassuming, has managed to do all she has, and in such short time. In 2016 she won a spot in the prestigious FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top Ten with her wooded Sauvignon Blanc, quite a leap of faith and still one of her best, and in 2018 she walked away with a Platter Guide five star for her Cape Point Bordeaux-style white blend, Isliedh 2017. She handles it all with gracious aplomb, paying tribute to those who have been her mentors, people like Duncan Savage, Bruce Jack and Miles Mossop, really big names in the wine world. Riandri and her partner of seven years, also a winemaker, live in a cottage in Noordhoek with two cats, Sancerre and Loire, who think they are dogs, and a dog Sauvie, short for Sauvignon, who thinks she is a cat. The arrangement seems to suit all who live there. On trips to France, she spent time in the vineyards of Sancerre with families who have been there for decades. She came back “with excitement in my heart, reminded of how lucky I am to work in such a dynamic industry”. With a spirit like that she certainly deserves all the recognition she is enjoying. When asked whether she thinks winemaking is an art or a science, she says, “It is both. I use my understanding of science to make wine, but I get emotionally invested in my work, just like an artist.”