Haskell Vineyards - Our Winemaker
Stellenbosch Vineyard, Western Cape
Meet Rianie Strydom, General Manager and Winemaker at Haskell Vineyards:
What inspired you to do what you do?
I have always been an adventurist person as well as analyzing thing and loving the outdoors, so at the age of 14 it seemed the best combination in a career covering all these aspects.
How many years have you been in the wine industry?
I have been in this industry since 1993 after I finished my degree in B.Sc Viticulture and Oenology at the University of Stellenbosch.
Which wine was your "A-Ha" wine - the one that made you love wine or inspired you to get into the industry?
My inspiration of getting involved in this industry was not based on a bottle of wine ( as I was 14 years old) but more the impressions I pictured in my mind of what it would be like, driving a quad bike through the vineyards, sunsets on top of hills surrounded by vineyards, things bubbling in a laboratory, etc. The “a-ha” wine only came in my final year when Prof van Wyk shared a magnum from the Pauillac appellation in Bordeaux with us, his students. From there I knew I was on the right track and could not wait to taste more of this lovely product.
What is your favourite wine to make and to drink?
I really enjoy Chardonnay.
What do you think makes Stellenbosch wine route unique compared to other wine regions?
The diversity and through that the beauty of our area.
You have been working for Haskell Vineyards since its inception in 2005, What do you know now that you wish you would have known then?
The great potential of our terroir and that we probably could have started making the Haskell series of wines from year one.
What makes Haskell and Dombeya wines special?
They all have personality and are specially made in the best way possible to express themselves.
If you were a wine which one would you be?
A Bordeaux blend.
If you wouldn't have become a winemaker, what else would you have liked to become?
An adventure traveller.
Whats one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I don’t eat dark chocolate.
What advise would you give a young local up-and-coming winemaker?
Go for it. This career will offer you more than what you can imagine.