Top 10 South African winemakers to watch

4: Matthew Day, Klein Constantia

Fresh faced 27-year-old Matthew Day has big shoes to fill, having been made winemaker at Klein Constantia in the Constantia Valley, makers of Napoleon’s favourite sweet wine, Vin de Constance, which appears in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Baudelaire’s poem Les Fleurs du Mal.

Day grew up in Johannesburg, but an interest in winemaking saw him relocate to the Cape to pursue his passion. After graduating form Stellenbosch University with a degree in viticulture and oenology, he flew the nest to work harvests at Château Bellefont Belcier and Château Trianon in St Emilion, Elderton Estate in the Barossa Valley and Dancing Hares Estate in the Napa Valley, before returning home to work at Meerlust.

Matt joined Klein Constantia, which recently merged with Anwilka, owned by Hubert de Bouard, co-owner of Château Angélus, and former Cos d’Estournal owner Bruno Prats, as assistant winemaker in 2008, becoming winemaker in 2010. Day is keen to build on Vin de Constance’s reputation rather than take the wine in a radical direction. He has started maturing it in acacia barrels, which is helping to accentuate the floral and exotic fruit characteristics of the wine.

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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