I spent 5 minutes with Morgan Steyn, a graduate of Viticulture & Oenology from Stellenbosch University, currently doing an internship with the much awarded Morné Vrey, Wine Maker at the Delaire Graff Estate in Stellenbosch.
What was the defining moment in your life that set you on the path of becoming a winemaker?
I was in an agricultural school and did not know anything about wine. We had a discussion about wine grapes in class one day and that is when I started playing around with the idea. I then applied for a bursary after school to study winemaking. It wasn’t easy in the beginning as I knew nothing about wine but I started to enjoy it and after my first internship I knew I made the right decision and I was happy.
Where did you train to become a winemaker?
Stellenbosch – BSc Oenology and Viticulture
Who would you regard as your mentor?
This is a difficult question, I’ve worked with a lot of different winemakers who have really inspired me. I take a little from each winemaker and if there is anything I need clarity on I will go back to the specific winemaker and ask for advice. I’ve worked under Louis Strydom from whom I’ve learned wonderful management skills and now under guidance of Morné I’ve learned to focus on detail and be very precise.
If you could choose anywhere in the world to make wine other than where you are now, where would it be?
Somewhere in the Loire valley – I enjoy their white wines at the moment.
And what grape type would you use?
Your greatest bottle of wine ever?
I still need to taste a lot of wines, but recently I enjoyed the Opus One 2014 from the Napa Valley.
What is your favourite style of food?
Braai will always be a favourite
Your best style of restaurant, you enjoy visiting? Why?
Steakhouse – you can always take a nice bottle of wine with to enjoy.
Your ideal dinner party table of 6, Morgan. Tell me why you chose them.
I’ve chosen the above people because they really work hard – you don’t necessarily have the talent but with hard work and doing a bit extra you can become really successful.
Gordon Ramsay – He is entertaining and then he can cook as well
Jody Flores – He is my cousin and I really enjoy his company. He is really supportive and I feel that we share the same goals.
Michael Bublé – He can entertain my guest and I really enjoy his live performances
Luandro Fouche – My girlfriend (brownie points).
Your favourite holiday destination?
Anywhere as long as there is a beach.
One piece of music you would take with you to a desert island?
Eminem – he will keep me motivated.
I’m currently working on….
My protégé wine – I’m making a white wine blend (Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon). I have some in barrel and some in tank. I still need to decide when I will bottle and the name of the wine. This wine will then get tasted with all the other Cape Winemakers Guild wines and if selected will also be up for auction. The proceeds goes back into the Guild Protégé programme.
My favourite weekend getaway is….
Wine tasting followed by a braai with friends is my ideal – I currently reside in Stellenbosch which for me, is the best place to be.
I can’t really think of a guilty pleasure – I eat chocolates and I don’t feel guilty, I eat Mc Donald’s and I don’t feel guilty.
One day, I will….
Have my own brand – it won’t necessarily be wine but I feel strong about sharing my creativity and vision with the world.
How can a visitor contact your winery?
I worked under Morné Vrey this year at Delaire Graff Estate.
Telephone 021 885 0816
Read more about Delaire Graff Wines – CLICK HERE