The WineMaker of Plettenberg Bay

For Plettenberg Bay’s emerging wine industry, having a cellar master of the calibre of Anton Smal is nothing short of a gift from the gods.

A local lad (born in George), Anton made his mark at Villeria creating sparkling wine, MCC, still wines, ports, noble late harvests and blends.  It was perfect timing – Plett had just been designated a Wine of Origin region and what was really needed was a winemaker with wide-ranging skills.  A winemaker of substance:  “I jumped at the chance to come back here. For a winemaker, an opportunity of this calibre is not to be missed!”

It’s all about the grapes and Anton: with his vast vat of knowledge he weaves his magic in the cathedral-like cellar at Bramon teasing the tastes from the grapes, shaking the foundations as he fills the space with music (the grapes like it), while he tweaks the ambrosial liquids in the cool steel cylinders.  And that in itself is a challenge as each individual vineyard has its own unique terroir and personality which need his skills to unlock the potential of its wines and bubblies.

Anton is as complex and as delightful as the wines he makes: a man of heart, to love passionately what he does; a man of steel, to have the dreams of many in his hands; a man of logic, formulas – it’s all about getting it right, in the end.

With all the awards which have been rolling in under his skilled ministrations (we bow as he walks past), and for those of you who don’t know … he’s a mean surfer too.