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3 South African wine women who rock

The wine industry is enormously lucky to have these ladies in it!

by: Cathy Marston | 11 Aug 2015

Women’s Day has been somewhat hijacked and what was originally meant to celebrate a show of strength and unity is now a feast of hype about spas, spoils and fluffy bunny rabbits on the side. This Women's Month I’m going to celebrate some of the strong women in SA wine who rock this industry and make me proud to be part of it.

Corlea Fourie from Bosman Family Wines

Corlea looks all quiet and shy and when you get to know her you realise she has a wicked sense of humour, a strong set of values and she makes really out-there wines. Sure she can make commercial wines if you want – but she makes them Fairtrade compliant so she considers the community she works in and builds their hopes and dreams into her plans. And her wines are subtle and clever – increasingly using skin contact instead of oak to create texture without harshness.

Try her Fides Grenache 2014 (R150) an orange wine with layer upon layer of flavour and guts. Or the De Bos Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (R80) which celebrates the fact that Bosman Family Wines won the Fairtrade Award at the International Wine Challenge last month for the second time.

Wendy Appelbaum from De Morgenzon

Would you like to be rich? I would. But what would I do with my riches - fritter them away on a life of luxury? Probably, which is why Wendy Appelbaum from De Morgenzon is as awesome as she is, because she uses her wealth to benefit others.  Wendy just won a landmark case on behalf of her employees which will have far-reaching effects on the way unscrupulous money-lenders prey on the less-well-off. Sometimes it needs more than just good will and good wishes to get a worthwhile cause off the ground and Wendy provided both, along with a massive amount of energy, a hefty dollop of her own cash and a ruthless determination to stop the exploitation of her staff.

She’s a tiny terrier of note and I raise a glass of De Morgenzon Maestro White Blend 2014 (R175) to her and to what she’s done for the industry.

Catherine Marshall of Catherine Marshall Wines

Because of the similarity of our names, Cathy and I are pretty much interchangeable in many people’s eyes – I often get asked about my Pinot Noir from Elgin and I’m pretty sure that Cathy fields requests for wine courses in exchange, But I’m not the person who’s really blazed a trail for garagiste winemakers in this country, the first woman to have her own-named wine brand, the woman who made wine on the beaches before all the hipster surfer-dudes thought it was a cool idea, the thinking-drinker’s winemaker whose questions and curiosity about wine has led her around the world in search of ways to make better wine. Drinking her wines is to taste Cathy’s life, her hard-won experience, her trials and errors, her thoughtfulness and her vision.  

Try her Pinot Noir 2014 from Sandstone Soils (R175) and you’ll see what I mean.

I could go on, but these are 3 of my favourite women in wine right now.

Tell us yours in the comments section below!

- Cathy Marston


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