Our WINEMAKER, DANIE MALAN

Dubbed South Africa's very own "Naked Winemaker" in Swedish newspapers after appearing in flip-flops and poly shorts at a wine tasting, Danie Malan is a down-to-earth winemaker who believes that he is merely a facilitator in the process of transforming good quality grapes into excellent wines. "I am not bigger than the wines I make; I learn more every year. To me, winemaking is a hobby – I don't expect great results, but simply try my best, wait and hope for the wines to surprise me."

Fifth-generation Malan winemaker Danie joined Allesverloren to hone his skills under the watchful eye of his father Fanie after graduating from Elsenburg Institute for Agricultural Training in 1987. In 1990, Danie went on to become the winemaker, and took the reins of owner from his father in 2003. Danie's red wines are his pride and joy, and he humbly attributes their success to the unique terroir of the Swartland wine region.

"I'm an avid believer in terroir. As a winemaker I think this a unique way of setting your wine apart from the rest. I make full-bodied, robust and huge red wines that keep well. My way of doing this is to keep it simple and straightforward. I am a farmer who makes wine and not a winemaker who farms."

DANIE’S ACCOLADES

In 2010 Danie made history as the first South African winemaker to receive the prestigious Golden Glass award at Sweden's long-running annual International Producer of the Year competition (judged by a panel of the country’s top wine writers). In the same year, the Allesverloren Touriga Naçional scooped Gold at the Veritas Awards.

THE ALLESVERLOREN LEGACY

Allesverloren's Malan dynasty began in 1872, when Daniël Francois Malan bought the land – which was at the time a wheat farm. It was Daniël who discovered vineyards on the farm and decided to try his hand at winemaking. His wine was soon in demand, and the farm began producing a sweet fortified wine that developed into its flagship port – the Allesverloren Fine Old Vintage. Today the Swartland wine estate has expanded its reach to 227 hectares, 160 of which are currently under vine.

Representing the fifth generation of Malans to craft wine at Allesverloren is an honour for Danie, who considers himself exceptionally privileged to craft wines for an establishment that embodies his family's rich heritage. When asked to pick his favourite Allesverloren wine, Danie is hesitant, comparing it to being asked to pick a favourite child. He does, however, admit to having a soft spot for the Cabernet Sauvignon, which he deems the ideal accompaniment to his favourite meat dishes – lamb chops or steak prepared on the braai. When not in the cellar, Danie can be found enjoying time with his wife, children and friends or gazing admiringly at the exquisite Koi and tropical fish he breeds.

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