New winemakers for SA’s only certified biodynamic wine estate

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BIODYNAMIC and organic wine estate, Reyneke Wines, has appointed Barbara Melck as winemaker and Armand Esterhuizen as assistant winemaker. Vinimark’s Rudiger Gretschel remains at the helm as cellar master, with owner and viticulturalist Johan Reyneke continuing his involvement in the biodynamic and organic cultivation of the farm’s crop – and both will continue to support the new duo in maintaining the estate’s focus on quality and sustainability.

Melck has served as assistant winemaker for Vinimark since July 2016, working across various estates, including Twee Jonge Gezellen. She completed her BSc in Viticulture and Enology at Stellenbosch University, following which she spent time working at Simonsig, Rupert & Rothschild, Wind Gap and Morgenhof.

With Reyneke having developed an impressive global following for its meticulous biodynamic approach and multi-awarded wines, Melck doesn’t see the need to tweak the way things work in its Polkadraai Hills cellar. “I would like to believe that I am rather more informed by the environment in which the grapes are grown, than a particular style,” she says. “I do believe that as a winemaker, you can never stop learning and adapting. That always keeps me willing to adapt to the seasons and environments that I encounter. I also am a strong believer in gut instinct and trusting your initial judgement.”

Reyneke Wines is currently the only Demeter certified Biodynamic wine farm in the country and boasts many international accolades for both its methods and the wine themselves.

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