Wade Metzer, Metzer Family Wines, South Africa
Surfer and skater Wade Metzer is one of South Africa’s most talented winemakers, crafting high-scoring world-class wines from old vineyards he has discovered on the Helderberg mountain. After a period working for guru Eben Sadie, today Wade makes his own high scoring wines from vines dating back to 1964.
Believing his job is to translate the grapes into wine with minimal intervention, thereby capturing the nuances of the vines in the glass, he focuses on picking the best possible fruit, which is then gently barrel aged before release. While he has received widespread acclaim for his Chenin Blancs, he also makes a range of equally high quality reds. Truly one of South Africa’s new stars.
Antonio Macanita, Azores Wine Company, Portugal
The Azores Wine Company is a project which aims to resuscitate old varieties and ancient vines growing on one of the globe’s most unique winegrowing regions, the volcanic Azores islands which sit alone on the mid-Atlantic. The vineyards lie adjacent to the windswept sea, and have been painstakingly dug out of solid lava. This is a true labour of love, with everything done by hand, to make wines that have an incredible sense of place.
The company is spearheaded by famous Portuguese Winemaker Antonio Macanita, who has a longstanding relationship with the islands, and collaborates with native Azoreans Filipe Rocha and Paulo Machado to bring these forgotten varieties and wines to the world.
Alexandre They, Chateau Vieux Moulin, France
The distinctively bearded Alex They is breathing a new life into the Corbieres appellation with his range of organic, low sulphur wines in eyecatching packaging.
Château Vieux Moulin is a 200-year-old estate located in the Languedoc appellation of Corbières. After finishing military service nearly 20 years ago, Alexandre They returned to his family estate to help out. Soon afterwards he was given the opportunity to take over the estate despite very limited winemaking experience, but the choice was either take on the responsibility, or sell. Alex dove in and learned on the job, as the 7th generation of his family to run the domaine.
Vieux Moulin now has all its 28 hectares fully-certified organic. Alex is unafraid to challenge the status quo and explore new angles of winemaking, but never at the expense of what’s in the glass, and the wines always represent their origins in the vineyard.
Lenga & Apostolos Montrichas, Avantis Estate, Greece
Lenga and Apostolos Montrichas are at the forefront of the Greek Wine revolution. Based on the island of Evia, they combine international and indigenous varieties to great effect making modern wines awash with Greek personality.
Modern wines from an ancient land - Avantis Estate are at the forefront of the Greek wine revolution. Their vineyards are at an altitude of 250 – 500 meters above sea level. Lying on flat plains, gentle slopes or even steep mountainous ones. In this unique micro-climate, during autumn and winter months cold air masses blow down from mountain Dirphi, carrying dew which supplies the vineyards with essential humidity.
Maricruz Antolín, Bodegas Krontiras, Argentina
Maricruz is widely regarded as a rising star of the Argentinean wine scene, awarded Young Winemaker of the Year by Tim Atkin MW as a talent to watch in his influential review of the region. Recently awarded as Argentinean Young winemaker of the year, Maricruz Antolin is behind the fully biodynamic Bodegas Krontiras, making exceptional wines high in the foothills of the Andes.
Bodegas Krontiras was established in 2004 with a view to making pure, terroir-driven expressions of Argentinean wines. In high altitude Mendoza they purchased ancient 120 year old vineyard in the high quality Perdriel sector Lujan de Cuyo and established a new vineyard in Maipu. Both were rapidly converted to organics in 2009, before becoming fully biodynamic in 2012; one of the first wineries in Argentina to achieve this. Since 2015 they have been experimenting with zero sulphur addition wines, and now produce a pair of excellent reds by this method, in addition to more conventionally produced (albeit biodynamic) wines. The winery has been built along biodynamic principles, using straw for insulation and biodynamic geometric principles based on “sacred geometry” to enhance the gentle evolution of the wines.
Will Gilbert, Gilbert Family Wines, Australia
Winner of the prestigious Australian Gourmet Traveller Young Winemaker of the year, Will Gilbert is changing perceptions of what Australian wine is all about with a series of immaculate, elegant high
altitude cool climate wines.
Gilbert Family Wines have their roots in South Australia's classic Eden Valley. They still make delicious Rieslings there, but most their wines now come from the fashionable regions of Orange and Mudgee in New South Wales. Simon Gilbert established the winery in 2004 after more than two decades as winemaker for some of the area's top producers. With son Will, they specialise in cool-climate wines with a common thread of elegance, purity and structure. That's what took them to Orange, with its vineyards at 1,000m above sea level. This winery is at the front of Australia's new wave, making a wide range of wines both in traditional styles and more experimental.
Victor Roth, Domaine Robert Roth, France
The young Victor Roth took over the family estate from his father in 2016 having worked for some of the finest wineries in France.
He set about converting the estate to organics, and simultaneously released a range of irresistible and well-priced aromatic whites that have singled him out as a name to watch.
Domaine Robert Roth is an 18 hectare estate in the southern sector of Alsace. Young Victor Roth took over the running of estate from his father and uncle in 2017, having qualified as an oenologist and gained winemaking experience overseas, before two years as assistant winemaker at the legendary Zind-Humbrecht - biodynamic pioneer and arguably the best producer in Alsace. At this point the journey towards organic certification has already begun, with almost all the vineyards certified for the 2019 vintage.
Abbazia di Novacella, Italy
Located at the entrance to the Dolomite mountains near Italy’s border with Austria, the monastery Abbazia di Novacella was founded in 1142, making it one of the world’s oldest continually active wineries.
Today it is still a functioning monastery and is also one of the finest wineries in the quality-focused Alto Adige region, regularly receiving the top Tre Bicchieri (3 glasses) award from the most influential Italian wine guide, the Gambero Rosso.
Abbazia di Novacella is an Augustinian monastery, high in the Isarco Valley near Italy’s border with Austria, in the foothills of the Dolomites. Founded in 1142, it is one of the world’s oldest active wineries, with papal documents from 1177 recording vineyard ownership. Still a functioning monastery, it is now one of the finest wineries in the quality-focused Alto Adige region, regularly receiving the top Tre Bicchieri (Three Glasses) award from the influential Gambero Rosso Italian wine guide.
Jonica Fox, Fox & Fox, UK
Jonica and Gerald Fox are making awarding-winning top quality English fizz from their small vineyard in Sussex. Their high quality wines are distinguished by their extended lees ageing which lends their wines tremendous complexity and depth of flavour.
Fox & Fox is a multi-award-winning, boutique grower-producer of English sparkling wines. Based around the ancient hilltop village of Mayfield, amongst the rolling hills, woodlands and deep-cut ghylls of the Sussex High Weald. Jonica and Gerard Fox have been growing vines since 2004 and producing wine since 2009. In 2010, they expanded from their first Hobdens vineyard site to the second, larger Lakestreet vineyard. However, they have recently sold Lakestreet to trusted grape-growing partners, to focus on their first love: making limited quantities of high-quality sparkling wines with a unique English twist.
Daniel and Ursula Schwarzenbach, Blackenbrook Vineyards, New Zealand
The charming yet unassuming Daniel and Ursula Schwarzenbach make great value pristine aromatic whites and Pinot Noir from their small sustainable estate in Nelson, NZ. The last two years has seen them start to win the medals and recognition they deserve. Their Sauvignon Blanc is one of the highest rated in New Zealand.
Blackenbrook are based in the Moutere Hills sub-region of Nelson, itself just north-west of Marlborough, in New Zealand's South Island. There, Ursula and Daniel Schwarzenbach have 20 hectares of vineyard, planted from 2000. North-facing slopes and typical Moutere soils attracted them, while running a vine nursery alongside their initial plantings allowed them to perfect conal selections for their unique site. The unirrigated vineyards are managed sustainably and the wines mostly vegan, with a gravity-fed winery built to Daniel's specifications. With Daniel’s time working at legendary Alsace domaine, Zind-Humbrecht, it only seems natural that they should specialise in Alsatian varieties alongside Burgundian, bringing something different to add to New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
Andrien Bergere, Champagne A Bergere, France
Champagne A Bergère is a new addition to the Amathus range and one of the most exciting grower Champagnes of recent years. .A sizeable grower based in Epernay, Champagne André Bergère own 65 hectares of vineyards split between the prestigious Côte des Blancs, Vallée du Petit Morin and the Côte de Sezanne, which themselves are the southern sector of the greater Cotes des Blancs region. They work only with their own fruit. The Bergere family have been growing grapes since 1848, with the winery founded in 1949.
Current generation Adrien Bergère heads up the estate with a primary focus on Chardonnay and terroir, low dosage across the range, and judicious use of oak to tease out the full potential of the wines. The wines are extremely well-price in the current context of the champagne market, especially for pure Chardonnay, and the packaging has a uniquely contemporary feel.
Martin & Georg Fusser, Weingut Fusser, Germany
Brothers Martin and Georg Fusser are regarded as two of Germany’s brightest winemaking talents, making a range of biodynamic crystalline, dry Rieslings and fruit forward Pinot Noirs. The story is a familiar one; they studied oenology at Geisenheim, Germany’s top wine school, and returned to the family business, determined to change it from being solely a grape grower to a family winery. Along the way they converted the estate to full biodynamics, and became prominent members of Respekt Biodyn; a group of Austria and Germany’s highest profile and most progressive biodynamic wineries.
They own 16 hectares of vineyards, and while the focus is on producing electrifying dry Riesling, some excellent Pinot Noir is also made. A range of levels is produced, from regional wines mostly vinified and aged in stainless steel, through to single vineyard wines aged in oak to unlock the full complexity of the wines.