Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And if wine flows in your veins, then there is only one way to go – into the vines! Strydom Wines is the result of Rianie Strydom’s lifelong commitment to and passion for the local wine industry – and we got to taste two of her wines!
Rianie’s love and passion for wine, vineyards and soil started at a young age. Once she obtained her B.Sc Agric in Viticulture and Oenology from the University of Stellenbosch, the hypothetical gate opened onto the endless vineyards of her dreams, making it possible to turn her passion into a project. Through her constant commitment to wine, she has been invited to become a Cape Winemakers Guild member, a core group of South Africa’s leading winemakers.
In 2000 she seized a rare opportunity with loads of potential. Rianie and husband Louis took a giant leap of faith and purchased some land just outside Stellenbosch. With the wheels of fate rolling along swiftly, they moved onto the property in 2005 and started the planting program in 2008. Currently they only have Shiraz, but they are busily planning out the new plantings.
Rianie has never looked back and has been making wine full time since 2018. Her hard work, dedication, tenacity and relentless pursuit for excellence is finally bearing fruit.
There are five wines in the portfolio of which the Retro and Freshman make up the introduction range and the artisan range comprises of Danièle (Chenin Blanc), Rock Star (Syrah) and Rex (Cabernet Sauvignon).
Strydom Freshman Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Tasting notes: Good balance of cut grass and tropical fruit, with lots of passion fruit and even floral notes. The palate has a soft acidity entry full of fruity flavours towards the end.
In the vineyard: Rianie makes this wine with grapes from Stellenbosch and Napier.
Approx. retail price: R65
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: The slightly herby nose of this Sauvignon Blanc makes it the perfect accompaniment for white meat like fish – think trout in a dill sauce, or grilled hake or angelfish fillets with a fresh baby green and micro-herb salad. Because of it’s lingering tropical fruit flavours, it will also go well with grilled chicken or pork, coupled with peppery zucchini noodles or a light stir-fry. For picnics, pair this beauty with coronation chicken sandwiches, or even with a fresh fruit salad!
Strydom Retro Red Blend 2014
Tasting notes: Medium bodied red wine. This is the third release of this wine. Dark stone fruit, ripe plum and black cherries.
In the vineyard: 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Shiraz, 14% Cinsault, Stellenbosch
Approx. retail price: R60
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: I immediately want to pair this well-rounded red blend with a juicy burger, topped with bacon and blue cheese. Or it will be a lovely accompaniment to a late autumn braai, especially when there’s lamb chops, ribs or fillet steak involved. But don’t think it needs to be paired with meat – try a gorgeously indulgent mushroom risotto or a vegetarian moussaka – the deep tomato and earthy flavours of the vegetables will bring out the slight smokiness of the wine. For a picnic, pull out the classic cheese and cracker board, or indulge in a steak sandwich.
I’m always excited to come across new and innovative additions to the South African wine industry, and even more so when there is a story captured in the bottle.
Rianie’s wines are young, fresh and uber-modern. They are easy-drinking and beautifully packaged for the keen wine-drinker or those new to the scene. Definitely wine-rack staples for me, and most certainly welcome additions to my picnic basket – just the right wine for any occasion!