Top 10 South African winemakers to watch

10: Alex Starey, Keermont

Surfing winemaker Alex Starey is in charge of viticulture and winemaking at Keermont, a boutique winery set in an amphitheatre between the Helderberg and Stellenbosch mountain ranges. The fledgling 27-hectare estate, on the site of a former mineral water bottling plant, was acquired by Mark Wraith in 2003.

Having studied oenology at the University of Stellenbosch, Starey set his sites on Europe, working harvests in Priorat, Bordeaux and the Rhône. Returning home to South Africa inspired by the elegant Syrahs of the Rhône Valley, Starey was determined to make wine with a distinctly South African stamp. “We’re in a very special part of the woods here, so we’re committed to the estate concept,” he says.

Formed of 8ha of established vines, including Chenin Blanc planted in 1971, the majority of plantings at the estate took place between 2005 and 2009. Producing just five barrels in his inaugural 2007 vintage, Starey currently makes four wines: a flagship red blend made up of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot; a Syrah; Terrasse – a barrel fermented white blend featuring Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc; and, in exceptional vintages, dessert wine Fleurfontein. His minimum intervention philosophy eschews both fining and filtration.

5 Responses to “Top 10 South African winemakers to watch”

  1. SpellingNazi says:

    Might I suggest a quick edit to correct the spelling mistake in the first line…? ConTstantia? Really?

  2. Diederik le Grange says:

    I think this article should have headed ‘…Swartland’.. There is more variety out there, I don’t think the author thought that over.

  3. Dusan Jelic says:

    I know personally 5 of these 10 guys. I think you did a great job and your article shows an important part of the power young lions have in the South African wine scene. Of course there are more to mention, but still, kudos for your kind effort! Cheers!

  4. Andre says:

    You wrote a decent article, but don’t quote Neil Pendock in relation to South African wine.

    Comment moderated – Admin.

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