Rainbows End, Stellenbosch, South African Red & Wine
Rainbow's End is a fantastic small family winery along the Helshoogte Pass between Stellenbosch and Franschoek. The Malan family consists of Jacques and Ingrid, and their sons Anton and Francois. Francois is the viticulturist while Anton makes the wine.
I was put onto them on my last visit to Cape Town by a South African friend who runs some very good restaurants out there. Coincidentally I was passing the next day en route to Grande Provence so called in. The winery itself is pretty hard to find up a steep dirt track, effectively further up the hill behind Delair Graf and Clouds - so definitely phone ahead if you plan on visiting.
It was old world, small rustic cellar, everything done by hand - quite a contrast to the opulence and incredible wealth of Delaire Graff. But what a step up in quality too! It just goes to show the best wines are often made by the smallest most passionate wineries! I'll just add a postscript here - having just returned from SA (January 2017) I will say that Morne Vrey at Delaire Graff is making some great wines these days. My comments were from a few years back when I wasn't impressed by their entry level wines, but much has improved there now.
All grapes are harvested by hand at dawn, then sorted by hand so only the best are used. The ferment is hand plunged 6 to 8 times per day during fermentation - all these labour intensive techniques which really make a difference to the quality of the final product.
Anton uses only minimal sulphites, and as all the fruit is such high quality the amounts needed are very low. The wine is then aged in a combination of French, American and Hungarian oak, for varying amounts of time, but at least 12 months, before it is bottled unfiltered to retain maximum flavour.
These wines are well made and excellent quality, and will keep for years. They're also very keenly priced!
You can view Anton's red wines on our South African Red Wines Page
His white wines on our South African White Wines Page
And his Rose on our Rose Wines Page