Craven Wines is a winemaking collaboration between husband-and-wife team Mick and Jeanine Craven. Mick is an Aussie currently working as lead assitant winemaker at Mulderbosch during the day; Jeanine is a Saffa, and they met in California 'dragging hoses' in Sonoma for harvest in 2007. After both having taken to the text books at their respective universities, they decided to hit the road, see lots of things, work in lots of places and try and learn as much as possible from this massive wine world. After travelling across the world together for four years and learning about wines in Australia, Europe, the States and South America, the couple returned to South Africa in late 2011. They moved to Stellenbosch, a place they both shared an affinity for. They feel Stellenbosch has such an amazing array of sites and terroir, and that it is perfect for what they want to do. Which is make site-specific, honest wines. Let the grapes do the talking....
"We chose South Africa, as we think there is a lot of potential here to make amazing wines. We live in Stellenbosch and our hearts are here in this town, which is why we only make wines from the Stellenbosch region as we want to be within a heartbeat of the vines. We want to make wines which are interesting, both stylistically and by varietal, but also wines which have a sense of place and express where they come from. We have isolated particular vineyard sites, for their unique soils and micro-climates, where we work with the growers to ensure that we get the best results from the particular sites. All our wines will come from single vineyards around Stellenbosch."
- Mick Craven
In terms of 'winemaking' Mick and Jeanine like to keep things as simple as possible. To try and achieve the wines they want to make, the best methods are being hands off, while still being very hands on. In other words paying serious attention to the wine but not manipulating it. They believe the best way to express site and fruit is to show just that. There is no use of cultured yeasts, enzymes, fining agents, etc. throughout the winemaking process. They only use older oak and try to only find larger format barrels. Essentially a minimal amount of SO2 (which is a dear friend) is the only thing added to the wines.
- Credit to Jamie Goode