Top 10 South African winemakers to watch

8: Johan Meyer, JH Meyer Signature Wines

At the tender age of 28, Mick Hucknall doppelganger Johan Meyer shares his time between Mount Abora Vineyards in the Swartland – named after the mountain in the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem Kubla Kahn, and his own boutique project, JH Meyer Signature Wines in Elgin. Part of the Swartland Revolution, at Mount Abora, the ever-enthusiastic Meyer makes a pair of Chenin Blancs and a Cinsault rosé. “I’m trying to make a seriously good pink,” he insists.

His Koggelbos Chenin is deliberately made in an oxidative style from low-yielding old vines, then fermented in French oak and kept on its lees for four months. Over at JH Meyer, which sprang into existence in 2011, Meyer makes just 1,000 bottles of Pinot Noir and 1,000 bottles of Chardonnay a year, selecting grapes from small vineyards in the cool climate Elgin region and operating out of Meerhof Winery in Riebeek Casteel.

“I fell in love with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay while working in New Zealand and Santa Barbara. There’s great potential for both grapes in South Africa, and, as they are less widely planted, you have a chance to put your own stamp on the wines if you do a good job,” he says.

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.

  5. KEBE says:


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