If ever one wanted vindication for the principle that what goes around comes around, Andy’s story provides just that.
We first met Andy 5 years ago when he and partner Becky volunteered on the farm. They ended up spending 6 months here including a harvest and winemaking.
Unlike Becky who is a physical trainer, Andy was unsure of what he wanted to do career wise. And then he stepped into the winery and magic happened and his life completely changed. Here is his account of the process.
“Come and learn” was the response I got from Fynbos Estate’s Dragonridge Winery when I enquired about my girlfriend and I coming to South Africa to get an insight into winemaking in 2010.
Little did I know that it would be the start of our new direction in life.
Naïve and uneducated with regard to wine, but with a killer desire to learn we absorbed everything that Johan and Diana threw our way.
We left the farm in September of that year, but a passion for winemaking, and understanding and learning new techniques was something that I was already craving by the time we got onto the tarmac road 5 kms from Fynbos.
My winemaking journey since then has taken me to wineries in England, New Zealand, Italy and Australia and I am now a Winemaker at an Estate south of London in the UK.
However, 2015 offered an opportunity to return ‘home’, My education and experiences have followed a mostly commercial route, and I was desperate to retrace my path back to minimal winemaking.
This year’s fruit has been an absolute joy to work with. Everything tastes as it should and the pure fruit flavours are something my palate has never experienced before.
An added bonus was working with Becky in the cellar again for the first time in five years. And in those five years we have got married.
Working for Johan is a dream. His dual understanding of the science and art of wine is unparalleled and that’s what allows my knowledge to grow. He is still, and always will be – I imagine, the most talented winemaker I know.
We do share, however, a paramount goal in letting nature do the work and aiming to bring the taste of the vineyard through the winery and into the bottle. In this sense I believe the 2015 editions of the Dragonridge range of wines will be the most exciting and honest wines I have ever been involved with."
Andy Kershaw, March 2015
Andy and Becky will be returning each year for a month to make wine with Johan. In between they will be discussing progress in the cellar via skype. We are delighted. Not only are we extremely fond of both of them but Andy’s is a very talented winemaker and his assistance comes just at the time that Johan is needing to step back from direct work in the winery.
Andy’s small assistant
Our youngest winemaker is Dani aged two who took such a shine to the winery and to Andy, that when putting her to bed she asked her father, (son Peter), if she could `make wine with Andy’ the next day. Here she oversees the transference of juice to tank. One has to train them young.