Leon Dippenaar, an ex-rugby player, is the winemaker and owner at Auction Crossing. Having studied for a Bsc in Viticulture and Oenology, he has also worked as a consultant for a number of winemakers and was in charge of viticulture at Graham Beck from 2000 to 2004. His first vintage at Auction Crossing was in 2004, and he is known for making bold wines that he enjoys to drink.
The Auction Crossing Farm is in the Hex River Valley in the Breede River valley region of South Africa. Records of the farm date back to as early as 1723, and the name today comes from “Vendutie Kraal” – which translates into a place where livestock auctions took place for trek farmers using the pass through the mountains. The wines now produced here are named for this history.
Grapes have been grown in the valley since the 1880’s, and a heritage of winemaking has followed. Climate is predominantly Mediterranean, with cooling meso-climatic influences from the mountains, and south-easterly winds pushing up from the Antarctic.
The grapes are sourced from Durbanville, Paarl and Stellenbosch. Leon ferments them separately allowing him to blend across terroirs at the end to make more complex and balanced finished wines. At the moment Leon only creates two wines – a Syrah Viognier and a Viognier.The total production is less 50 barrels a year with only 13 barrels of the Viognier. This very small production is due to the fact that Leon does all the work alone and is concerned with making high quality wines.
The styles represented here are made in the mold of the classic Northern Rhône: Cote Rotie and Condrieu, but carrying an intense ripeness and richness of fruit you would expect from warm South African regions.