Leading SA winemakers swell the ranks of the Cape Winemakers Guild
January 2020: Three local winemakers have joined the prestigious ranks of the Cape Winemakers Guild.
Adi Badenhorst (AA Badenhorst Family Wines), Peter-Allan Finlayson (Crystallum Wines) and Donovan Rall (Rall Wines) have been invited to join the Guild alongside some of South Africa’s greatest winemakers. The selection of these three winemakers speaks of the outstanding quality of their wines and innovation as leaders within the industry.
Established in 1982, the Guild is made up of over 40 winemakers who have been recognised as excelling at their craft by their peers within the Guild. Membership is by invitation only and is extended to winemakers who have been responsible for the production of outstanding wines for a minimum of five years and who show promise of not only consistently exceeding industry standards, but also promoting the values of the Guild.
Badenhorst is the co-owner of AA Badenhorst Family Wines, which was established 12 years ago. Badenhorst was a member of the Guild from 2007 to 2018 but took a hiatus due to scheduling conflicts. Now able to dedicate more time to the Guild, he was nominated for Guild Membership again this year.
“It’s nice to be the second Badenhorst nominated to the CWG,” says Badenhorst, referring to his becoming a member for the second time.
Finlayson is a co-owner and winemaker at Crystallum Wines and the winemaker at Gabrielskloof. He has been making wine for 12 years at Crystallum and five years at Gabrielskloof. He burst onto the wine scene with his 2007 Crystallum Pinot Noir, the first ever Pinot Noir to be rated 5-stars and featured on the front cover of Wine Magazine. Since then, he has built a reputation as one of the top producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in South Africa.
“It is an honour to be recognised by my peers. I am particularly excited about the Guild’s focus on innovation and the development programmes in place to make the industry more inclusive and representative,” says Finlayson.
Rall is the owner and winemaker of Rall Wines, which he founded 11 years ago. His wines have garnered respect from some of the world's most influential commentators.
“I’m looking forward to being part of this group of winemakers, many of whom have helped me along the way, and I’ve been looking up to for the last 10 years while establishing my brand,” says Rall.
Andrea Mullineux, Chair of the Cape Winemakers Guild concludes: “Badenhorst goes beyond the bounds and has been instrumental in the success of the Swartland, Finlayson’s ability to produce classically styled wines wows the international wine world, and Rall plays an important role in projecting a high-end quality message and perception of not only his own brand, but that of the industry. These winemakers will be excellent additions to the Guild and we look forward to witnessing their next great achievements.”