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MICHAEL GREENíS WINE NOTES #192 (article first published : 2008-03-6)

Topiary is the gentle art of trimming bushes and hedges into decorative shapes, and it is the name of the newest winery in the Franschhoek area, this because its garden has many sculpted plants.

Topiary Wines lies at the foot of the Wemmershoek mountains and the cellarís owner, Roy Andrews, is a University of KwaZulu-Natal graduate with a background far removed from viticulture. He grew up in Zimbabwe and received a B.Sc. degree from UKZN. He became a teacher but soon decided that business would suit him better and, after some experience with a banking group, he became a management consultant with a global consulting group.

In 2001 he left the business world to research the wine industry and in 2005 he bought a 63-hectare farm called La Tramontane, renaming it Topiary. In the past three years he has developed 20 hectares of vineyards and has taken two harvests through his cellar, with the help of his winemaker Chris Albrecht and his farm manager and viticulturist Malcolm Pemberton. Malcolm Pemberton, also an ex-Zimbabwean, is the man responsible for the topiary at the farm, and at present 26 of his plant sculptures adorn the premises.

The cellar has just released its first four wines: Chenin blanc 2007, with hints of guava and kiwi fruit, approximate retail price R35; Chardonnay 2007, tones of pineapple and citrus, lightly oaked, R40; Rosť 2007, delicate pink, with floral bouquet, R34; Cabernet sauvignon 2005, red berry notes, full-bodied, R65. Later this year the cellar will launch a shiraz and a shiraz-cabernet sauvignon blend.

The farm has a tasting room which is now open for tasting and sales and is about an hourís drive from Cape Town. Phone 021 867 0258.




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