Adoro, in Latin, means ‘to adore’, and at Adoro Wines, winemaker Ian Naudé and viticulturist Lucas de Kock bring together all the things they adore…

Adoro Wines began in 2004. Surrounded by their beloved dogs, and passionate about blending, the pair set out to produce blends of Old World and New World winemaking style – wines “with a whole that’s greater than the sum of the different terroirs”. They see South Africa as “blessed with such diverse terroir that we can elegantly balance our blends to harmoniously combine the complexity, restraint, and ageing potential of the Old World with the fruit-driven structure of the New World”.

Opting against tying themselves to self-owned vineyards, the team is free to choose the grapes that best express the qualities required when blending together the final wine. Their passion and talent were soon recognised by the BenRiach team – at its head, the first two South Africans to own a Scotch whisky distillery, in conjunction with talented master blender Scotsman Billy Walker. In 2005, Adoro was incorporated into the BenRiach portfolio and the brand-proper was born.

The Winemaker

Ian Naudé

I have been making wine for the last 20 years and have been fortunate enough to work in many wine countries around the world, from the USA (Napa and Washington State) to France, Germany, Israel, and Italy. I have also been lucky enough to visit some of the best wineries and taste some of the greatest wines of the world. This led to my decision to aim for my own signature style of wines. I love to blend and create a specific style of wine, one that I would love to drink myself.

Every year it’s a challenge to see what nature delivers and then source grapes from specific areas to create that special wine. Blending is important to me because you have to create this wine in your head long before harvest, then search for the grapes and, when you find them in the vineyard, ‘memory bank’ them to remember where they will fit in your final product. During fermentation and aging, they go through many stages, changing all the while from the grapes you picked and pressed to the wine slowly evolving.

This is where winemaking really starts for me – taking all those different components and going back to the vineyards to create this ‘special wine’ that you’ll be proud to present to the market. I love making wines to partner food – when people get together over a special meal and the wine becomes a talking point, where the wine evolves in the glass and becomes multi-layered so that you taste the best of what the Chenin has to offer and, a few moments later, what the Sauvignon brings to the blend. But the real art of blending is that they must be in perfect balance and ultimately show as one wine.

I also strive to create wines which reflect the best of both the old and new worlds. South Africa is blessed with such diverse terroirs that we can elegantly balance our blends, harmoniously combining the complexity, restraint and ageing potential of the old world with the fruit-driven structure of the new world.