JUSTIN VAN WYK

WHAT SKILL HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO DEVELOP?

Open two beers at once, just like my winemaking hero does it. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST WINES THAT YOU HAVE TASTED?

Chateau Angelus 2005; Screaming Eagle 2007; Chateau Cheval-Blanc 2001

 

WHO IS YOUR WINEMAKING HERO, AND WHY?

Matthew Day, because amongst his many talents, he is just so laid back. 

 

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FUNNIEST MOMENT IN YOUR JOB?

There are too many to fit in this block... 

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD MATCH TO THE WINES OF CONSTANTIA GLEN AND BEAU CONSTANTIA?

With the Constantia Glen FIVE, I'll serve slow braised beef short ribs served with roasted parsnip puree enriched with butter, cream and a touch of nutmeg. 

The Beau Constantia Cecily Viognier will be perfect with grilled Norwegian salmon, on a bed of aromatic coriander-infused dahl and some sweet roasted carrots on the side.

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?

Seeing and tasting influences in the final wine when only the viticulture practices are changed or enhanced to improve a certain block of grapes.

 

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM HOLIDAY?

Tented safari in the Serengeti. 

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LOCAL RESTAURANT?

I wish I could say Potluck Club, but in all truth it is probably down the road at Pastis (and this should also apply to Stuart, Matt, Daniel and JD, as we go nearly every Friday

 

WHAT SKILL HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO DEVELOP?

Open two beers at once, just like my winemaking hero does it. 

 

WHAT IS YOUR TIPPLE, WHEN NOT DRINKING WINE?

Beer.

 

WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST MOMENT?

Was when my daughter was born! It was completely unexpected and I had to go straight from the winery to the hospital on a Friday afternoon. She is still full of surprises and continues to fascinate me every day. 

 

LOOKING BACK, WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST CAREER HIGHLIGHT?

Getting recognition from Wine Advocate (Robert Parker) to the tune of 92+ points for some maiden-release wines. 

 

WHAT IS THE SOUTH AFRICAN WINE THAT YOU ADMIRE MOST?

Morgenster

 

WHAT ARE YOUR GUILTY PLEASURES?

The samoosas from ADM. 

 

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

Keeping rain away during the harvest months…any suggestions?? Largely it would be getting the picking dates of different blocks 100% perfectly right so that the grapes are healthy, balanced and most importantly, optimally ripe. 

 

WHAT WOULD YOU GRAB IF YOUR PRIVATE CELLAR CAUGHT FIRE?

The fire extinguisher. 

 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE VARIETALS TO WORK WITH?

Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Both are the more unusual Bordeaux varieties, but use of one or both of these in combination with Merlot and/or Cabernet Sauvignon can influence a blend quite significantly and enables one to achieve a desired style of wine.