Fine Wines

Wine­maker Rian­dri Visser of Cape Point Vine­yards

South African Country Life - - In This Issue -

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.”

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