Mark Van Buuren Q&A

Mark Van Buuren Q&A

by Will


Cape of Good Hope, Anthonij Rupert

On getting into wine…

I really had no idea about what career path I should follow as a youngster. Wine wasn’t even something I enjoyed or knew much about when I finished school, but I started hearing more about it when my brother studied Pomology at Elsenburg College. I visited some industry legends like François Naudé at L’Avenir and Beyers Truter at Kanonkop, and started getting the feeling that this could actually be something well worth exploring. I then studied winemaking at Elsenburg College and from there have worked both locally in South Africa and internationally (mainly France & Australia) and have never looked back. Today I am very blessed and thankful to be a part of Anthonij Rupert Wines, and to enjoy living on the beautiful farm in Franschhoek with my family.

On the winery and types of wines you are making…

I oversee the production of the white and rosé wines at Anthonij Rupert Wines. These include the Protea, Terra del Capo and the Cape of Good Hope range. The Cape of Good Hope range focuses on old and unique site-specific vineyards in the Western Cape. I have a great passion for winemaking and love the challenge and opportunity of working with some of the best vineyards in the Cape.

On changes and how South African winemaking is progressing…

I started winemaking at Anthonij Rupert in 2013, and initially really only stuck to the basics in producing the wines. With time, however, I have grown in my knowledge and experience of what we are working with and what can be achieved. It has taken time to understand the vineyards and styles we can make with the fruit I am responsible for. Today I am greatly challenged by the potential I believe we can achieve. We have some of the best vineyards in the best locations in the Cape, and we are on the road to producing wines that reflect that. It is a journey, and it is exciting to be instrumental in producing the wines from our various vineyards in the coming years.

The tide of young and innovative, artistic and passionate winemakers is flowing strongly, and we are seeing that in the diversity of wines being produced in recent years. There is so much raw talent and creativity at the moment. One can’t help but be excited and proud of what’s going on in our industry right now.

On new opportunities…

We have some incredible vineyards in some very special locations. Many of these are still in their infancy or not yet in production, but the sites and quality of material being planted will undoubtedly be yielding some incredible fruit. Our Cape of Good Hope range is where our opportunities lie in that we can produce some wonderful wines from these great sites in the Cape. Treating the fruit with understanding and respect will no doubt deliver wines that will be enjoyed for their uniqueness and quality, and that is our intention.  

On speaking to the trade about South Africa…

Meet the people, and in most cases the wines will reflect the great characters that are involved in producing some of the most expressive and exciting wines being produced in the world today. I think that generally speaking, the wines today have more of a sense of place than ever before, as winemakers follow their intuition and talent in creating them. There is more individuality about the wines, and there are more producers that are not only winemakers, but also “vignerons” responsible for growing and nurturing their own vines. The link between grower and producer seems to be closer, and this has led to a noticeable improvement in the wines. 

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

To share in just some of the exciting wines we are producing and hopefully transfer that excitement over to those that taste our wines.