the TERROIR and WINE STYLES
Each lot of grapes is vinified separately according to its intrinsic character, taking great care not to over-extract or manipulate the fruit. No recipes are followed and both traditional and modern techniques are used.
The aim is to produce wines which the owners will enjoy drinking. Working closely with a handful of growers, fruit is sourced from across the Cape to secure grapes at optimum ripeness from sites which are best suited to each variety.
Long-term contracts have been concluded for specific rows of vines to meet The Foundry’s demand for high quality fruit which is expressive of its source vineyards.
From 2020 The Foundry has a new home in the Voor-Paardeberg area.
about THE FOUNDRY
The Foundry Wine Collection was established on a shoestring budget in 2001 by Chris Williams and his great friend James Reid. With plenty of blood, sweat and tears, developing The Foundry into a leading exponent of the New South Africa wine revolution, gaining numerous accolades and awards for their site specific, terroir defined wines.
The first vintage of The Foundry was vinified at the Myburghs of Joostenburg winery in Paarl. There was no room for our barrels in their barrel room, and so we were accommodated in the old blacksmiths’ workshop – and ‘The Foundry’ was born.
Chris Williams narrowly escaped a legal career by following his passion for wine instead. He discovered an interest in wine while at UCT studying to be an attorney, and after graduation enrolled at Elsenburg Agricultural College to study viticulture and Enology.
In 1995 he worked as understudy winemaker to Giorgio Dall Cia at the iconic Meerlust Estate in Stellenbosch. His understanding of classic winemaking techniques and deep love for the Stellenbosch terroir developed under the guidance of Giorgio and Hannes Myburgh, owner of Meerlust. In 1997 Chris spent a vintage in Bordeaux, based in Pomerol under the tutelage of rock-star winemaking consultant Michel Rolland, where his love for all things French, and the classic wine regions in particular, developed to an enduring obsession. After six wonderful vintages at Meerlust, Chris left to establish the South African operations of Boutinot LLC, a Manchester UK based wine company. In 2003 Chris spent one vintage at Delaire Vineyards whereupon he was lured back to Meerlust to become cellarmaster in charge of all wine production in 2004. After 16 years at Meerlust and multiple accolades and awards, Chris left Meerlust in December 2019 to establish a winery on shareholder James Reids’ Paardeberg and focus on The Foundry.
The Foundry Harvest report 2020
“We finally moved into our own cellar on James Reid’s farm in the Voor Paardeberg. It was quite a rush to get everything finished and cleaned ready for the 2020 grapes. There were some teething problems as we had to totally replace the cooling system, but once that was in things proceeded very well.
I have vinified quite a few experimental batches this year, using different varieties, fermentation techniques, oak types and clay vessels. 2020 was, I felt, much more promising than 2019 – the drought was truly broken and the vines looked much better this year. The fruit was cleaner, more evenly ripe and with more delineated, pronounced flavours and bright acidity.
Of course the big story of 2020 has been Covid 19 and the subsequent lockdown. I managed to get all my wines off skins and into barrels and amphora in the nick of time by the Thursday before lockdown. The wines are now finishing ferment or proceeding with malo lactic fermentation as we speak and when we reopen the cellar after Easter its going to be exciting to see what emerges.”
A medium bodied wine with intense crushed dark fruit, peppery spiciness and an intricate fairy-dust like tannic structure.
A deep ruby colour with good intensity on account of the low production per vine. On the nose there is a distinctive
fleshy fruit quality intensified by black pepper, spice and a sanguine note.
Lifted floral aromas with hints of lemon cream and white stone fruit. The palate is rich but restrained with focused, pure fruit, minerally mid palate with characteristic rich, fleshy mouthfeel and texture and has a long finish with a citrus tang.
Distinctive and intense aromas of wild flowers, oatmeal and lemon-cream. The palate is lively and
intense with quince and yellow apple flavours, hints of spice and linear acidity.
Pale in colour, clear and bright with a pronounced greenish hue. The nose is exotic with expressive
apricot, spring blossom and creamy citrus nose, but remains elegant and perfumed.