Yo El Rey was a wild idea.
In 2016 I packed a bag for California and left behind the grey skies of London, bound for the West Coast. It was magic. I don’t think that time in my life will ever be able to be recreated. I was young, fearless, carefree, filled with a zeal for life and a thirst to learn. And I threw myself into the two months out there without inhibition. And I’ve never felt more fulfilled.
Working with Pax Mahle in Sebastopol at Pax Cellars changed everything for me. My wine world was turned upside down. We worked hard and we played harder. Both Scott Schultz (Jolie-Laide Wines) and Jaimee Motley (Jaimee Motley Wines) also shared the cellar space, and all three of these winemakers inspired me to approach wine with a fresh mindset. Undeniably, a lot of the technique and philosophy I still adopt today, I soaked up from them.
In hatching the plans for this project, there were a few obvious hurdles posed by the process of making wine in South Africa whilst living in London. But thanks to the guidance, support and tutelage of Francois Haasbroek of Blackwater Wines, I was able to bring it all to life. Without him, none of this would not be possible.
2018 is the first release, a red cuvee blend of Syrah from the Voor-Paardeberg, and Grenache from Bot River. It is everything I hoped it to be: bright, refreshing and packed with energy. I hope you love it as much as I do.
There have been some mega highs and some dark lows in the journey of bringing this all to life. However, I couldn’t be prouder to send out the first newsletter to the mailing list. Thank you for signing up and for your support. Keep your eyes on your inbox over the next few weeks for information on where you can find the wine, and how you can purchase it.