Naudé Wines is the culmination of a winemaker’s journey that began more than 30 years ago. Since his first harvest, Ian Naudé has worked all over the world, crafting wines that tell a story of time and place.
During a wine tasting in Stellenbosch, Ian reflects on the challenges in the past to establish an identity for South Africa. “What else except for Pinotage, differentiated South Africa from the rest of the world? The answer is, our terroir.” The exact same Sauvignon Blanc from the exact same batch of vine cuttings, planted at the exact same time, can yield completely different wines.
Naudé was part of a group of wine makers, “The Great Wine Tasting Group.” Here the winemakers tasted unique wines… white blends , white wines that were made to age and the use of screwcaps. All three were on the controversial end of the spectrum. Nowadays white blends from South Africa are sold at a premium in the international markets. “We have turned our focus to quality and we are making wines with depth, structure and complexity.” Naudé has the philosophy to capture the terroir and highlight the specific vintage, not only the style of the cultivar.
Naudé’s old vine journey started one winter whilst he was looking to source Cabernet Sauvignon for the upcoming vintage. “Rosa Kruger took me to a vineyard and I agreed to take the grapes, which I thought was Cabernet Sauvignon. Laughing, Rosa asked, then what will you do with this block of Cinsault then?”
The Old Vine Project is close to Ian’s heart. “Rosa knows our wine styles. She would stand in a vineyard and know exactly where the vines will fit best.” This is how Naudé’s journey with Cinsault and old vines started. At the time that Ian started to use old vines, it wasn’t necessarily that the grapes were “old” that provoked interest, it was the quality that stood out. To Ian it is important to showcase the terroir and not to manipulate the style.
“It is not typically Old World, nor typically New World….It is our world.”