Lismore - Samantha O'keefe
The First To Grow Vines in Greyton.
Greyton, South Africa
Lismore was built from the ground up by Samantha O’Keefe, a Californian single mother of two boys in 2003. She singlehandedly established Greyton, located in the Overberg region of South Africa as wine region, Lismore is the first and only winery there.
Sam’s wines displayed finesse, purity of fruit and balance with streaming acidity. A result of skilled winemaking and the unique cool climate site, at 300 metres altitude and poor soils. The vines, like the owner, has struggled along the way but managed to produce stunning fruit.
In Dec 2019, a bushfire destroyed Lismore Estate and her entire 2019 vintage.
Though anguished by the loss, she was not defeated. She remade the vintage 2019 with the grapes donated by other wineries in the region. We are expecting her 2019 vintage soon and Sam is gradually getting back on her feet.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate's Review
"Samantha O'Keefe of Lismore Estate is a trailblazer who is making some of South Africa's most focused, precise and thoughtful wines. If you are not familiar with Samantha or her wines, you need to seek some out and try them for yourself. South African wine may hold negative connotations in some people's minds, so I hope they try Samantha's wines, as every bottling from her range displayed elegance and beauty.'
Mas Martinet - Sara Perez
Running One Of The Benchmark Wineries In Priorat.
Sara Perez runs Mas Martinet, the one handed down from her father Jose Luis Perez in 1996. It is one of the founding wineries that brought Priorat into prominence as a fine wine region in the 80s.
Sara did a lot of adjustments in winemaking techniques since she took charge of the winery. She practices minimal intervention in viticulture and vinification. She is also experimenting using clay amphora for ageing the wines instead of barrels.
Sara is a mother of 3 and besides Mas Martinet, she also runs a winery called Venus La Universal with her husband Rene Barbier.
Sara Perez is one of the most admired female winemakers by Jancis Robinson along with Lalou Bize Leroy of Domaine Leroy, Helene Genin of Chateau Latour and Vanya Cullen from Cullen.
A Hairdresser Turned to Be a Winemaker.
Jane Eyre-Renard is originally from Melbourne, Australia. After 10 years
working as a hairdresser, she wanted a change and winemaking came to
mind. A connection through a client took her to Burgundy for harvest in
1998, which then led her to study winemaking and work at the Prince Wine
store after she returned to Melbourne. Following several vintages in Europe,
Australia and New Zealand, she ended up in Burgundy full circle in 2004.
Wine critic Jancis Robinson once said " I really, really like her wines, even the fleurie."
Kanaan - Wang Fang
Growing Vines In An Arid Area With No Prior Winemaking Experience.
Fang Wang Kanaan established Kanaan Winery 2011, she is known for the name ‘Crazy Fang’ for her dream of starting a winery from scratch with no prior experience. The winery is in Ningxia, at the foot of the Helen Mountains and the name refers to the ‘land of milk and honey’.
Ningxia is notoriously arid with low winter temperatures requiring vine burial to protect the vines in the winter, only to dig them up in the spring. This makes growing grapes labour intensive and expensive due to inevitable annual vine loss. Despite these challenges, Fang is determined. She is one of the first Chinese wines to break into international market. Jancis Robinson also said Fang's wine is one of the best in China.
Kanaan is unique in that Fang makes Riesling, a tribute to her time in Germany. The quality of her wines is an excellent example of the potential for Ningxia as a wine region.