This Women’s Month, we’ve put together a special-edition August Insiders’ Case which features talented SA women who are making waves in the wine industry. Learn more about each of these ladies and their brands below.
The Vineyard Party by Jolette Steyn
The Vineyard Party launched in June 2021 with two small-batch Sémillon bottlings from the maiden 2018 vintage. Whilst this might be Jolette’s maiden release, she has more than a decade and a half of winemaking experience, with 15 harvests on four continents, a BSc (Stellenbosch, South Africa) and MSc (Angers, France) and thesis on Garnacha in Priorat. Jolette’s goal is to source biodiverse, sustainably-farmed vineyard parcels, whilst applying a light touch or minimal intervention in the cellar – respecting the terroir, the vintage and the process.
Lelie van Saron by Natasha Williams
Lelie van Saron (referencing her small hometown) started with a 2017 Chardonnay and 2018 Syrah which were both officially launched in September 2019. From a young age Natasha felt an affinity for science and nature, making winemaking a natural study choice. She graduated from Stellenbosch University with a degree in Oenology, did a stint in California, travelled through France and joined the Bosman Family Vineyards’ winemaking team in late 2014. Natasha’s approach to winemaking is simple: make wine with a pure expression of the terroir and grape variety, using natural methods. The result is elegant, honest wines from cool climate sites.
Momento Wines by Marelise Niemann
After university, a stint in California, and whilst winemaker for Beaumont wines, Marelise picked her first Grenache for her solo project in 2011. She officially launched Momento wines in 2013. She has since become known for wines of purity, elegance and honesty, working with old vines in both Botriver and the Swartland with a minimal intervention approach; putting terroir front and centre. The hand-drawn vine on her labels is by artist Hennie Niemann Jnr, Marelise’s husband, showing an old vine with various personal characters worked into it.
Trizanne Signature Wines by Trizanne Barnard
Trizanne went solo with her own brand in 2008 after studying at Stellenbosch and building years of experience locally at Klein Constantia, launching Anwilka wines and various international vintages. Since her own first vintage, Trizanne’s focus has always been on 2 very diverse wine regions – Elim and the Swartland. Apart from winemaking and judging on various panels, she is an avid surfer who draws patience and respect from nature.
Genevieve Cap Classique by Melissa Genevieve Nelsen
Genevieve Cap Classique (first vintage in 2008 and launched in 2010) was inspired by Melissa’s absolute passion for Cap Classique. Whilst originally planning to become a pilot, she now keeps her feet firmly on the ground, more specifically in the vineyards in Botriver. The black label Blanc de Blancs Brut is aged for 3 years on lees and the blue label Zero Dosage is aged on the lees for 4. These are fresh, fine and refined bubbles!
Saurwein Wines by Jessica Saurwein
Saurwein’s maiden vintage was in 2015. After completing her BSc degree in Oenology in Stellenbosch and harvesting abroad, Jessica ventured into the world of wine sales and marketing before returning to winemaking with her eponymous brand, Saurwein. The aim is to achieve energy and harmony in her wines. She favours a hands-off approach, which means allowing the natural balance of the grapes to guide her. Today she focuses on handcrafting her favourite cultivars, two Pinot Noirs and one Riesling.