With his laid-back demeanour and easy-going attitude winemaker Abraham de Villiers embodies the Arniston Bay brand and is undoubtedly therefore the perfect candidate to create this range of lifestyle wines.
After spending many weekends working on the family farm during harvest time Abraham succumbed to the lure of the wine industry and obtained his Hons B.Sc Agric (Oenology) at the Stellenbosch University.
Abraham has been creating Arniston Bay wines since 2004 and judging by the number of accolades awards surging sales figures and content consumers he should simply keep up the good work.
We pried Abraham away from the barrels and the beach (he’s a keen surfer) for a quick Q&A:
What does your job entail?
My main task is to make procure and blend the best possible wines for Arniston Bay and subsequently ensure that Arniston Bay is the best wine available. I am also involved in the day to day running of Eerste River cellar.
How would you describe your winemaking style?
Relaxed and always trying to over deliver on a price point. Wine is as much a science as it is passion and trusting your instinct and tasting capabilities.
What are your winemaking goals?
To create as many award winnings wines as possible at reasonable prices.
What’s the first thing you do once the harvest is complete?
Start tasting the new vintage wines – there’s nothing more exciting than that!
I wish people knew that…
The Arniston Bay wines are made with a very personal touch although it is a commercial brand. Every wine that is made for Arniston Bay already starts in the vineyards with the selection of specific vineyard blocks. Every wine is tasted and blended so many times to get the right style that I stop counting. It is a very fulfilling process – very much like cooking with adding a bit of this and that to get the perfect style.
What’s your favourite drink?
At this stage it’s the Arniston Bay Bushvine Selection Chenin Blanc 2011.
What do you drink when you are not drinking your own wines?
A good long ice cold beer.
What is your best food and wine memory?
Crayfish on the beach with a nice cold bottle of good Sauvignon Blanc.
If you were trying to impress someone, what wine would you open?
Any Arniston Bay Reserve wine.
What do you want to be served at your last supper?
Roast leg of lamb with all the trimmings with Malva pudding and a good Sauvignon Blanc and Pinotage.
If money was not an object, I would…
…be on island bathing in the sun with lots of good wine.
What is your dream car?
At this stage I would love a Porsche Cayenne. Love the outdoors and would like to explore a few game reserves in Namibia and Mozambique.
If you weren’t a winemaker, what would you be doing?
Traveling the globe in search of great wines and waves.
Abraham about his new Arniston Bay Light range