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Rudi Schultz

South African Rudi Schultz comes from a family of winemakers. He is one of five brothers, two of whom are also winemakers. But it wasn't until Rudi had his first taste of top notch Rhône wines, that he was inspired to pursue a winemaking career himself. This occurred when he was on a yachting trip from the Cape to North Carolina. The yacht owner was a keen collected of Rhône wines, affording Rudi the opportunity to taste some first-class drops, and this had such a profound effect on him that he decided that he wanted to recreate wines of the same calibre in his homeland. After gaining his degree in oenology from Elsenberg College of Agriculture in Stellenbosch in the mid-1990's, Rudi completed a vintage in the US with Sonoma-Cutrer, gaining experience in oenological techniques not yet known in South Africa at the time. Back home he worked at Rustenberg and Jordan, and then honed his craft at Thelema under the tutelage of the famed Gyles Webb. Next Rudi visited France where he worked a vintage at Château-du-Joanny in the Southern Rhône, and retuned home to establish his own eponymous label in 2002, immediately garnering rave reviews for his maiden vintage Syrah. Given his penchant for the Rhône, it was hardly surprising that he would choose this grape variety to craft his first own label wine. The unicorn on the label is part of the coat of arms of Rudi's wife's family. Rudi sources his Syrah from a single vineyard in Botterlay in the north-west corner of Stellenbosch, planted a little over 106 metres above sea level on granite-based duplex soils. The Chenin Blanc for his white wine comes from Paarl and other red grape varieties from alternative regions in Stellenbosch. The wines are vinified at Thelema, where Rudi still works. He has another passion – surfing, and his latest range of wines reflects his love of this sport and the ocean, all named after famous surf spots. Rudi Schultz handcrafts a range of small-production unique wines that are quite dazzling!