Name: Callie Louw
Please, tell us about how you got into wine, the wine industry and how your career developed?
Wanted to become a doctor but did not turn out to be a student, so I studied Bsc viti viniculture at Stellenbosch. After graduating in 2000 I travelled to france, Australia, USA and New Zealand doing harvest and also doing 3 harvests at Rustenberg in RSA. In 2004 I took my first permanent job at Vondeling, I designed the cellar which was very cool and worked there till 2007. In 2005 I worked at La Soula where I realised that farming is more important than winemaking and organic/biodynamic farming is the only way to go, this is where I realised what a vigneron is. 2007 I moved to TMV(now fable) which was organic and where I would be the farmer as well as the winemaker. Then in 2009 I was offered the position to develop the Porseleinberg property it is a very exciting opportunity and Boekenhoutskloof is an amazing company to work for.
What is your philosophy to making wine and viticulture?
Winemaking is simple, hard work in the vineyard and sit back and let the wine make itself. I believe we should plant varieties where they are best suited and move away from the 15 varieties on a farm mentality. It can only result in better wines and with every region being know for a wine which will make the South African wines much more marketable and command better prices.
Which cultivar is your favourite to work with and why?
At Porseleinberg the focus is Syrah, I have planted some Grenache. They are the varieties best suited to our soil and climate. I like all the Mediterranean(rhone) varieties, the wines have good structure and I really like spice as opposed to fruit flavors.
How do you see the future of wine production and what are the challenges and the opportunities?
I hope people put more focus on their area and terrior and plant the right varieties, more sustainable farming methods as farming puts lots of pressure on the environment and resources. There are still lots of beer drinkers that need to be converted to the only beverage worth drinking.
Where do you see the global wine market in 2025?
I do not know much about markets etc. but I do know that there is an ocean of wine and competition is rife and the big supermarkets squeeze the life out of suppliers so hopefully that changes. Hopefully burgundy and the first growths are more affordable, probably not.
@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – International Sommelier Positions – www.sommelier-jobs.com