FIELDS, MORRIS & VERDIN IS A SPECIALIST WINE IMPORTER AND DISTRIBUTOR SERVING THE UK’s RESTAURANT AND RETAIL TRADES.
Chris Mullineux Q&A

Chris Mullineux Q&A

by Will

Owner & Winemaker

Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, Leeu Passant

On getting into wine…

I was born in Cape Town but grew up in Jo'burg with little exposure to wine. Fortunately I went to study accounting in Stellenbosch and had a super early mid-life crisis (at 19). At the same time I discovered wine and the fact that one could study winemaking. From then on my life has been super clear. I got to know Eben Sadie while studying and through spending time with him in the Swartland, fell in Love with the place. When Andrea and I got engaged and decided to start our own project it was a no-brainer to settle in the Swartland!

On the winery and types of wines you are making…

We have two cellars, and though the people and winegrowing and winemaking philosophies behind them are identical, the focus is quite different. Mullineux is based in the Swartland and is completely focused on bottling wines with a sense of place through mostly Chenin blanc and Syrah. In terms of terroir in the Swartland, the soils are extremely powerful and have the biggest impact on how wines taste. We aim to express that. Leeu Passant is based in Franschhoek and is focused on honouring Cape Wine heritage through some super old vineyards that have history attached to them. All our wines have intensity to them, but they also have a purity and freshness. 

On changes and how South African winemaking is progressing…

There is less of a desire to leave the wine tasting like it was made in the cellar and more of a desire to bottle wines with a sense of purity and place. And more confidence to just be South African in all we do.

On new opportunities…

Many markets are opening up to South African wine for the first time and because they have little experience with our wines it's an opportunity to create a strong impression as to what South African wine is about.

On speaking to the trade about South Africa…

Taste as widely as possible and try to taste both the New Wavers AND the more traditional, established producers as many of them are doing amazing things. Don't try to compare our wines to other countries and regions. South Africa has its own special terroir and wine culture and our best wines express this. They don't aim to copy other regions.

On what you’re looking forward to doing when you’re in the U.K…

Kippers on toast would be nice for breakfast one day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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