Carrie’s Corner: Wayne Buckley-Koch and I go to Wildekrans and back

Wine guru Carrie Adams chats to Wildekrans’ Wayne Buckley-Koch after the farm’s wines were recently added to the BizNews Shop.

Wayne Buckley-Koch on Wildekrans wine farm, a female-dominated space

It’s almost three years now since I moved to Wildekrans Wine Estate, so time has definitely flown. It has been an absolutely amazing journey with Wildekrans so far. I really love the team we work with … it’s more of a family than a working team. There is definitely a theme and it seems to be girl power. The girls run the world when it comes to the land of Wildekrans; it’s brilliant. Debbie is our managing director and she keeps us all on track. Then we’ve got our winemaking team. Both winemakers are females; those two ladies are making magic in the cellar at the moment. There are women all over the show and they do their best work for us on this farm. They’re absolutely amazing and I couldn’t work with a better team. So, I do sometimes feel like the odd one out.

On what Wildekrans has to offer

One of the things that makes Wildekrans really special is the number of things you can do and you don’t need to leave the farm. Especially now with Covid-19, people just want to break out of the city, away from their apartments or homes and just get out there and enjoy nature. There is accommodation on the farm, in the form of lovely little cottages. There are various units; some are two bedrooms and others have three bedrooms for larger families or groups of friends. It is a casual environment where you can relax. You can lie by the pool, drink the wine on the lawn, have a little braai in the evening if you want to do something casual. Otherwise, there’s our restaurant, which is open on certain evenings. You can enjoy a little walk through the vineyards, if you wish. If you are into mountain biking, you’re more than welcome to bring your mountain bike and cycle the trails. We have three trails on the farm and there are maps and apps available to guide you. There are also running trails. We love taking people through the winery on the farm to see where the magic starts from the beginning. It’s always good to see where your favorite tipple comes from. We have a tasting centre where you can relax and enjoy the wines. I do need to warn everyone up front that if you do come for lunch, it is never a quick in and out. It is four hours of lots of rosé or whatever you prefer and you can watch the sun change the colour of those mountains as it goes down.

We are a multifaceted farm with peaches, plums, citrus, olives, all sorts of things growing on the farm. As you walk into the restaurant, you can buy the fresh produce. We also grow proteas and fynbos. We stock beautiful things that you can buy directly from the farm; it’s not mass-produced and placed into supermarkets. You know it’s authentic, real and it doesn’t come any fresher than that.

On Wildekrans wines

You can pick up the feminine touch in the wine from miles away. It has elegance and finesse. The first rounds will be the whites and the rosés. We are looking forward to a really good Sauvignon Blanc coming out, the Chenin Blac, too. It will be our third vintage of rosé. The varieties we now sell are getting big so I’m really looking forward to the future. We pick specifically for rosé. Gone are the days when rosé used to be the by-product of making red wine. It’s done in a very specialised French provençal style: pale in appearance, dry, but it’s got lovely fruit on the back palate. The other great thing about rosé and why it is one of my favourite wines is it pairs with absolutely anything. It is totally versatile. We were looking at making a Deep Purple wine over time. The wine had been blended and everything had calmed down but the music was still a feature in our cellar. Looking at this wine, it was beyond deep purple and in the background, Deep Purple and rock. We also have a unique MCC made with 100% Chenin; a rosé MCC made in the traditional style of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; and for those who like something a little bit sweeter, we have a Demi Sec. It’s not crazy sweet, but it contains a little bit more sugar than your average wine.

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