Earlier in February the Franschhoek Wine Valley had the pleasure of hosting four dynamic women aptly referred to as the Worldwine Women. This group of friends and students – Alice, Louise, Alexandra and Atalante – have made it their duty to explore vineyards across the globe, with the goal of analysing the emerging balance between tradition and innovation. In order to do so they work in the vineyards of each of the countries that they visit so as to personally experience different production methods, traditional local skills as well as cultural environments. In a nutshell they want to experience a day in the life of a winemaker.
Eager to share what the valley has to offer in terms of wine production the group spent time with the winemaking teams of Haut Espoir, La Bri, GlenWood Vineyards, My Wyn, Holden Manz and Anthonij Rupert Wyne. With their collective wealth of knowledge and wine making techniques the Worldwine Women team left Franschhoek well equipped.
Before leaving we met with them to get some feedback on their experience and insight as to what lies ahead.
Tell us a bit more about your time in Franschhoek, and your typical day with the winemaking team.
Although we only had a short time to experience the Franschhoek Wine Valley we had the opportunity to visit five different estates and engage with their women winemakers. It was so interesting to discover a different vineyard each day, and in doing so to learn from all these inspiring winemakers. During our stay we worked in the vineyards and helped the winemakers in their daily tasks. The idea was to learn about South African wines specificities and to interview winemakers to know more about their work. In the morning, we would generally have a tour in the vineyard and the winemaker would tell us about the specificities of their wines. Then, we would work in the cellar. This was followed by a tasting session with the winemakers, and it was so interesting to learn from the people who had made the wines. Then, we interviewed the women winemakers we met, in order to understand how they are integrated in this sector, to know about their role and responsibilities. We were privileged to meet some amazing women, who are determined and passionate about their career, and it was very interesting for us to spend time with them as well as assist them in their daily work.
2. What were some of the highlights of your visit to Franschhoek?
We were amazed by the beauty of Franschhoek and its exquisite surroundings. The area is extremely peaceful and the landscapes are breath taking. We’ve were deeply touched by the hospitality and kindness of people we met, and impressed by how well preserved the village is. Furthermore, we’ve were surprised by the diversity of vineyards in the valley. During our time in Franschhoek we visited some vineyards with very traditional methods, some with high mechanical methods and other ones with biodynamic methods. We believe that this diversity makes Franschhoek an even more interesting place for winemakers. Moreover, we’ve were impressed by the wide range of grapes varieties in each vineyard, and as a result were able to taste delicious and elegant wines with very different characteristics.
3. Where to next? Please tell us about the journey ahead.
After our journey in South Africa, we’ll travel to different countries around the world to discover more about the diversity in the wine sector across the globe. In the next few months we are scheduled to travel to Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, China and then the United States of America.
The world is their oyster and the Franschhoek Wine Valley wishes this team of vibrant women all of the best on their global wine travels.