Top 10 South African winemakers to watch

3: Peter-Allan Finlayson, Crystallum

Tall, dark and handsome, Peter-Allan Finlayson’s wine roots run deep. Son of South African Pinot Noir pioneer Peter Finlayson of Bouchard Finlayson, Peter Jr has branched out and set up his own boutique Pinot project, Crystallum, where he makes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from prime parcels grown on deep clay soils in the Walker Bay.

Part of The Hundred Club, along with the aforementioned Chris Alheit and Donovan Rall of Vuurberg, Finlayson studied philosophy and economics in Stellenbosch before moving back to Hermanus to satiate his passion for wine, founding Crystallum in 2007 with his brother Andrew, having first clocked up numerous harvests in Pinot’s heartland, Burgundy. Fruit is sourced from four vineyard sites in Hemel-en-Aarde. “We nurture what comes off the vines rather than manipulating it to fit a predetermined outcome,” says Finlayson, whose next focus is single vineyard wines.

Both the Chardonnay and Pinot are fermented in French oak and aged for at least a year before bottling at Crystallum’s straw bale winery made from recycled steel, clay and stone. Wine writer Matthew Jukes has described the Pinot as, “a future cult wine in the making.” Finlayson meanwhile, believes it’s “more restrained and elegant” than his father’s concentrated Pinots.

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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