Having grown up in a wine region, it wasn’t entirely surprising that Abrie Beeslaar changed from studying medicine at the University of Stellenbosch, to graduating with a BSc in Viticulture and Oenology from there. In 2003, Abrie became the Head Winemaker at acclaimed and iconic winery (and Pinotage specialist), Kanonkop. There, he discovered a tiny, 2.5 hectare, old bush-vine-trained Pinotage vineyard near Simonsberg Mountain, outside Stellenbosch that had the perfect conditions for creating magnificent wines. Shale soils, easterly breezes and significant diurnal shifts, coupled with the bush vines’ penchant for giving small bunches of tiny, ripe berries give the wines intensity of colour and concentration. Beeslaar Estate Pinotage is vinified similarly each year, but the finished wine always tells the tale of the vintage and is generally regarded as amongst the finest examples of Pinotage in the world. The winery recently added a small production of Western Cape Chardonnay to its line up.