I made wine for the first time more than 30 years ago as a student at Elsenburg College. I might have called it a day then, but a few months later, found myself picking grapes in Napa Valley, California. It was a cycle that would continue year after year. A harvest down south, then one up north. New World followed by Old World.
Germany, France, Spain and Italy all introduced me to a variety of wines, each with their own identity and sense of place. After a good few years moving back and forth, there was no shortage of inspiration. Especially considering the diversity that we enjoy in South Africa.
It’s not just our people. Look at the various microclimates, the soils, our different growing environments and the many wine varietals that thrive under unique conditions.
I’m fortunate to have been introduced to a few of these vineyards, and work with some of the wonderful grapes that they produce, many of them from certified old vines. It is my hope that these play an increasing role in taking South Africa’s wine far and wide. More than that, I hope they are appreciated inside our beautiful country.
Old Vines from the New World. The wines that they produce is never the same, and thank goodness for that. Each year they represent what nature gives them, and with any luck. I don’t get in the way.
I’m often asked about my “wine philosophy”. It’s taken me a long time to realize that I don’t have one. But if I am able to bottle something delicious that tells a story of where it’s from and the conditions under which it was grown, then I’m happy.
Naudé Family Wines is the culmination of this journey. A story of time and place.