Top 10 South African winemakers to watch

7: Jurgen Gouws, Intellego

Another young gun to have recently burst onto the Swartland scene is 24-year-old Jurgen Gouws. Having completed a vintage at Domaine Michele et Stéphane Ogier in Côte Rôtie, Gouws worked with Swartland pioneer Eben Sadie in 2008, where he developed a passion for old bush vines. His boutique brand Intellego, meaning, “I understand” in Latin, features a pair of scales on the label in a nod to Gouws’ quest for balance.

Starting with just one barrel of old vine Chenin, Gouws’ maiden 2009 vintage was made in an oxidative style and matured in old barrels. The energetic young winemaker believes bush vines help to maintain the structure and purity of the wine, allowing him to keep winemaking as natural as possible. Like Nicolas Joly in the Loire, Gouws shuns the term “winemaker”, believing he merely guides the wine in a certain direction, allowing mother nature to do the rest.

His Elementis Skin Contact Chenin Blanc spends three weeks on its skins, resulting in intense baked apple aromatics. He also makes a Syrah/Mourvèdre blend from 30-year-old bush vines. “Wine is alive. You have to make an effort to understand it, but once you do, you can truly enjoy it,” 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.

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