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Winemaker: Red Wines

JUSTIN CORRANS has just joined the successful team at The Bergkelder as newly appointed winemaker of red wines. Although this young winemaker is extremely enthusiastic about the wine industry, it is his fascination with the natural sciences especially biochemistry and microbiology that drew him into the cellar.

“Because winemaking is extremely creative, it gives me the opportunity of being an inventive scientist in the cellar whilst working in a passionate, sociable industry,” says this intrepid winemaker.

After qualifying with an Honours degree in Wine Biotechnology and studying research at the Institute for Wine Biotechnology in Stellenbosch, Corrans started his career as assistant red winemaker for Zonnebloem wines before joining The Bergkelder. Heading the red wine team, his responsibilities include red wine production and the management and control of barrel maturation for the prestigious Fleur du Cap range of wines.

Corrans’s philosophy towards winemaking is one of simplicity and precision. He strongly believes that the vineyards are everything and good wine stems from good grapes. “Good grapes need gentle cohesion to become great wines, but producing great wines from mediocre grapes involves a scientific approach and good winemaking intuition,” he said.

The change of seasons has as much influence on his hobbies as it does on the vines. When the sun is shining you can catch Corrans on the beach with his surf ski and surfboard and in winter he enjoys riding his mountain bike. These adventurous sports obviously result in injuries which give him enough time to read and enjoy “coffee culture” while recovering.

Personal Perspective
“South Africa makes great Shiraz and Bordeaux style blends and it is a pleasure to make and drink these wines. For me the greatest fulfilment is to see the fruits of my labour – nothing is more satisfying than to have a special dinner and to share a terrific bottle of wine that you crafted yourself with good company.”