Every wine list needs a kick-ass Pinot and Chardonnay and it's hard to beat the good stuff from the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley in South Africa.
So when I was tipped off on an employee of the legendary Hamilton Russell Vineyards making her own wine on the side, I had to find out more.
Berene Saul rose from au pair to full-time vineyard and cellar assistant at Hamilton Russell, and whatever hours she has left in the day are dedicated to growing her own small business on the side.
Tesselaarsdal is the name of the village where Berene is originally from, and if you look closely at her labels you'll see little nods and hints to her family history. Such as her mother and grandmother crossing the mountain to trade goats at the weekly market.
Berene's story is about to come full circle as she’s gone back to her roots to buy land in the village which will become fully productive vineyard in 7-8 years.
The wines are made in Hamilton Russell along with the expert mentorship of their winemaker Emul Ross. Berene crafts the wines in a gentle, textured style that beautifully show off the special Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge sites that they're from.