Meet the Winemaker (Episode 75): Johann Krige, Kanonkop
Nestled in the slopes of the Simonsberg mountains in Stellenbosch, South Africa, is Kanonkop Winery. The winery is a fourth generation family business started by Johann Krige’s great grandfather.
While Stellenbosch is known as the leading red wine region of South Africa, the region is extremely diverse with different soils and microclimates. The higher slopes are said to be better suited to the production of white wines and the lower slopes to red wines.
Johann Krige explains that in the past, Kanonkop produced a great range of wines but that today they focus on red wines since the microclimate of their location lends itself better to these. Their wines of choice are Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage, a South African wine which Johann describes as similar to Pinot Noir but with earthy and farmyard tones.
What makes Kanonkop’s award-winning wines uniquely South African? According to Johann Krige, it’s the taste of the sun in the smoky, warmer feel they give off.