It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Ian Sieg (66), former wine manager at GWK’s Landzicht in Douglas, Free State. Ian’s love affair with wines from ‘central South Africa’ started in 1984. Until his retirement in 2018 – and beyond – his mission was to showcase the quality of wines from this region.
In this period, Ian was seen regularly at wine competitions where he would accept awards for his distinctive sweet and semi-sweet wines. Among his many awards, Ian will also be remembered for causing a flutter when the Landzicht Winemakers Reserve Cabernet 2015 (W/O Prieska) won the Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon overall at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show in 2017.
Ian’s passion for wine, and for the wines from this ‘untraditional’ wine cultivation pocket, was unbridled. Ian was driven to make wine on the banks of two mighty rivers, the Orange and the Vaal, where the confluence forms green arteries in an otherwise inhospitable place – the challenging environment providing him with particular impetus to showcase the potential of the area: “What inspires me? The fact that people think it can’t be done,” he would say.
And proved many of us wrong he did. Ian succeeded in his goal to gain respect for a pocket of our wine country that is often disregarded, and in doing so, he showcased the essence of wine and what it represents: hard work, honesty, friendship, joy and generosity. Terms that could easily be used to describe this big man of wine’s personality.
“It is appropriate that Ian made wines in the country’s Heartland. As he was all heart. Ian will be remembered for his big heart and big-hearted wines,” says wine writer Jeanri-Tine van Zyl-Punt.