Anthonij Rupert Wyne was founded on the farm, L’Ormarins in Franschhoek. Originally owned by the late Anthonij Rupert, the farm was taken over by his brother Johann Rupert in 2003 and the company renamed after him. Wines are produced under 5 brands: Protea wines, Terra del Capo Italian varietal wines, Cape of Good Hope site specific wines and the Anthonij Rupert flagship range. Their main cultivars are Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot. On their Franschhoek site, they “only” have around 80 hectares under vine but the family is involved in larger wine estates in South Africa as well. Because of the great amount of grapes they get, there are 4 winemakers at Anthonij Rupert Wyne helped by 3 winemaker assistants and working in 4 different cellars.
We visited the entire property with Zanie Viljoen, the winemaker of their Méthode Cap Classique under L’Ormarins brand who arrived at Anthonij Rupert Wyne in 2006 after studying in Stellenbosch. She first drove us through the vines, explained that everything is hand-harvested (and by the size of their vines, it’s really impressive!) and that they aren’t organic but they strive to reduce their use of sprays and be reasonable.
Then, we paid a visit to their 4 cellars: La Garonne Red Wine Cellar, the MCC cellar, Anthonij Rupert Cellar and Terra del Capo cellar. We’ve been amazed by the Anthonij Rupert Cellar with its gravity wine production method performed thanks to its state-of-the-art mechanical rotating ceiling. Because of Anthonij Rupert’s passion for watches, the cellar is circular and compromised of four levels that follow the regular winemaking steps. Each stage is separated onto different floor levels allowing gravity to move the wine from crushing to cellaring. We even had the chance to see the ceiling moving around! After this impressive cellar, we visited the white wines cellar. We learned about their original skin contact maceration for sauvignon blanc and racking by flotation. Finally, we went to La Garonne Red Wine Cellar and saw freshly harvested Merlot grapes arriving at the cellar. The first steps of the winemaking process were all mechanized and there even was a new machine improving the quality of the destemming process thanks to cameras. Even though this machine enables better wine quality, it deprives 12 people of work in a country facing great unemployment rate.
Finally, we got the great opportunity to taste their MCC in their beautiful tasting room: find out more in our tasting article!