Wine Cellar has done it again. And that is identifying SA’s hottest young winemaking talent. This year’s Young Guns theme is “Back to Basics” and the fifth in a series of seven blogs features Callan Williams of The Garajeest. Here are her answers to seven quick questions.
1) What inspired you to study what you did?
The lifestyle and passion behind agriculture, science, food and wine and how they bring people together.
2) What is your favourite wine to make and to drink?
I’m fortunate enough to be making my two favourite cultivars – a straight Cabernet Franc and a straight Semillon – in a cool climate, New World style. I enjoy making wines that push the boundaries that are edgy, unusual and fine.
3) You’re stranded on a desolate island, but then discover lush and healthy vineyards and basic cellar equipment (left behind by the island’s previous inhabitants). What is the first thing you would do?
I would check if they left any wine.
4) Do you have a favourite wine experience (local or abroad) you would like to share?
- Every harvest
- Starting my own label
- Bottling my first wine
- Finally seeing the finished product
- Watching the expressions of my parents, family and friends finally getting to taste my first vintage
- My first listing
- Winning the People’s Choice Award in the Wine Label Design Awards
- Being a young Gun… The list goes on.
5) What is the worst advice you ever got in your winemaking career?
“Please don’t do that, it will never sell, it won’t work.” This is in reference to me starting my own label. I’ll never forget this, keep watching – the best is yet to come.
6) What advice would you give a local up-and-coming winemaker?
Make sure you love it and don’t give up. Believe in yourself more than you believe in the doubts.
7) Do you have a mentor in the wine industry (local or international)? If yes, how did this person influence you?
I have friends in the industry who offer advice and guidance. Every winemaker, wine lover and wine I come across influences me.