10 Cape winemakers to watch

Donovan Rall, Rall Wines

Donovan RallEasily distinguished by his blonde mop of hair, Donovan Rall has been pursuing a love of Mediterranean grape varieties since returning via a stint in Swartland from a three-year world tour of wine regions to set up his own operation in 2008.

Having made his name with a red and white blend, Rall is now broadening his scope to introduce single varietal Grenache Blanc and Cinsault expressions from the 2015 vintage.

No-one was really making Grenache Blanc but I thought we needed to have a few good examples so I might as well try it,” he says modestly of the decision to shine a light on this grape. His maiden release combines concrete eggs, some whole bunch fermentation and extended skin contact on the grounds that, believes Rall, “Grenache Blanc can be so boring and bland, you have to do something funky with it.”

As for the Cinsault, which comes from 50-year old vines in Darling, Rall echoes several of his peers in praising its “drinkable” character and relatively hassle free, inexpensive vinification requirements.

“It’s so easy to make and there are so many Cinsault vineyards out there that no-one is taking any notice of,” he remarks. “People are still under the perception that wine has to be big, red and inky, but to me this is the way South African reds are going.”

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