Founding partner, Dr Max Hahn, acquired the Elgin Orchards farm, home of Elgin Vintners, in 2001. But his association with this jewel in the Elgin valley goes way back – back to when he frequented the farm as a young boy. Degrees in science and medicine and a long career in business gave him a unique perspective on the business of making wine.
For many, there is a romance about growing vines and making wine. For Dr Hahn, diversifying into grapes was a business decision prompted by a downturn in the apple industry, increasing signals of global warming, and expert views that the cool climate and unique terroir of the Elgin valley had the potential to make excellent wines. He was right of course, because twenty years on some of our most exceptional wines come from this valley and from the Elgin Vintners label.
The team at Elgin Vintners is tight-knit and passionate about what they do. Fellow owner, James Rawbone-Viljoen’s focus is not just on the making of wine, but the selling of it, opening up new markets for Elgin Vintners through personalised wine tasting experiences and giving the brand a face and a personality.
Elgin Vintners’ winemaker, business manager and newest shareholder, Marinda Kruger-Claassen, traveled the world experiencing harvests and wine making in Europe and Australia. When the chance to make wine in this cool-climate region came along, she jumped at it. “Our grapes ripen at a relaxed pace here, no stress. Anything that takes longer is better, I believe – more flavours form, tannins ripen and aren’t green, sugars are low, and all is in balance with the natural acidity.”