SURVIVOR Cap Classique


SURVIVOR Cellar Master

The history of the Nguni cattle is etched deeply into the soil of South Africa.

A series of great migrations of Nguni-speaking people brought this uniquely identifiable species into our country over 2 000 years ago, and they are synonymous with wealth and status. It’s this venerable tradition, and the story of one particular Nguni cow called SURVIVOR, that brought about SURVIVOR Wines.

Being transported from one farm to the next a Nguni cow decided she had travelled far enough and jumped. Farm owner Danie Rust found her in his Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard and promptly named her SURVIVOR.

Like her, our wines start with a leap in the vineyard and in true Nguni spirit our grapes are now sourced not only from the Swartland, but also the Elgin Valley, Stellenbosch, Darling, Tradouw and Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, to compose the unique complexity and diversity of the red and white wines in the SURVIVOR Range. Our winemakers intensely debated which regions possessed the perfect balance of rainfall, clay, shale and granite content, so that opening a bottle of SURVIVOR allows you to experience the essence of these terroirs. SURVIVOR Wines are as distinctly South African as the Nguni cow that inspired them.

Our Cellar Master

Acclaimed winemaker Pierre Wahl heads up as our Cellar Master for SURVIVOR Wines. Pierre is a member of the highly respected Cape Winemakers Guild and recipient of the 2016 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award. Within the industry, he is affectionately known as the Pope of Pinotage, in recognition of his expertise with this unique varietal.

Pierre’s achievements as a winemaker have been driven by his belief that his wines have a unique signature. This he ascribes to never having toiled as an assistant winemaker under prescribed winemaking conditions.

His childhood fascination with nature prompted him to pursue a career in nature conservation until he realised that winemaking ticked all the boxes for him: the freedom to be creative, the ongoing challenges of mastering ageing, the need for resourcefulness and ingenuity, coupled with grit to persevere and succeed year after year. After nearly three decades of winemaking, his passion for nature is still satisfied by the complexities inherent to terroir.

“This is what makes SURVIVOR Wines so special, we get to choose the best grapes from the most expressive terroirs from several of South Africa’s best wine-producing regions,” he says. Pierre excels at creating powerful and elegant wines, choosing to showcase the cultivar’s fruit characteristics, embraced by an old-world elegance in structure and texture.

The element of enjoyment defines his winemaking approach, regardless of whether the wine is paired with a fine-dining feast or a weeknight dinner. He is always conscious of how the wine will drink with food. Pierre is attuned to creating balance and takes great care to not overwork the juice and wine.

Pierre is enthusiastic about the quality of his first harvest at SURVIVOR Wines.

“Curating the selection of diverse terroirs that comprise the SURVIVOR Wines portfolio, is where the challenge lies. To express a sense of place with each wine, when you have your pick of the best parcels of vineyards South Africa has to offer, is any winemaker’s dream.”

The journey

Our Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect balance of depth and flavour, a result of grapes grown on the cool and misty slopes of the Elgin valley.

The hot, rocky and dry soil of the Swartland region gives our Chenin Blanc, Pinotage and Syrah a punch of bold flavour. The vines here are as robust and hardy as our Nguni cow.

Thanks to older vines and centuries of tradition, the Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon is proof that winter rain and high clay content is the perfect combination for producing this wine.