Samantha O’Keefe has found the diamond in the rough with Lismore Estate. Samantha’s story starts with her moving away from California, to Greyton in Western Cape, in hopes of having a different way of life for her and her family.
The site she fell in love with, Riviersonderend ranch, is 300 meters in altitude at the foothills of a mountain so the vines are chilled by the winter snow and then nourished by the African summer sun, producing fantastic small production, hand crafted cool climate wines.
She bought a dairy farm which she then transformed into a vineyard with the goal of producing superb Burgundian style wines. Samantha then built her own house, constructed the winery and planted the vines on the 25 hectare of the farm suitable for grape growing.
With no background or education in winemaking, and having previously worked in television in LA, winemaking to Samantha was more than just producing wines – it was a method to build something for the family.
After the tough journey of planting vines and making wine, Samantha was very close to giving up the dream of becoming a winemaker and planned to return to California with her sons. But then, Robert Parker galvanized her dreams, writing amazing reviews of her wines in Wine Advocate, and Tim Atkin followed close behind praising Samantha’s Viogniers. Her wines took off internationally, making Lismore Estate Vineyards a huge success story!
The wines Samantha produces are terroir driven and inspired by Rhône producers in Côte Rôtie and Condrieu.
We are extremely proud to be the UK supplier of these hugely impressive, critically-acclaimed wines with six in our portfolio.
For more details, speak to your account manager.
In a nutshell:
A vibrant and elegant Burdgundian style Pinot Noir with striking purity of fruit and attractive aromas of sour cherry, sweet spice and a touch of cherry blossom. Bright acidity and enticing red berry fruit with forest floor notes and a soft, linear finish.
In Jane Parkinson’s Liquid Assets feature of March’s Restaurant Magazine she takes a look at Winemaking as an art form…
Wine of the Month:
Paringa Estate The Paringa Pinot Noir, 2O12
This is not cheap, but is one of the leading lights of Mornington Peninsula and this release is stunning. It is bold yet retains enough Pinot delicacy and has a fresh acidity with red cherry juiciness. It also has broad tannin shoulders after 10 months in French oak but it matches up perfectly to the generous fruit.
San Marzano Tramari Primitivo Rosé
A chirpy and well-priced rosé, from a Puglian co-operative. lt is pale salmon in colour, dry and bright with strawberry, cranberry and raspberry.
Lismore The Age of Grace Viognier, 2O16
A barrel fermented Viognier aged for a further 11 months in 2251 Burgundian barrels. It’s rich with peach schnapps.
Sugrue Pierre Brut, 2013
This excellent fizz is from Dermot Sugrue. With 8g/l dosage and some fermented in new oak, this is classy with lemon sherbet fruit and buttered toast richness.
Ancilla Lugana, 2015
Coming off the shores of Lake Garda, this has a plush side, thanks to the 10% fermented in oak. lt has melons with an almond nuttiness for texture.
Ellevin Chablis Brigitte Cerveau, 2015
A zippy, zesty chardonnay with taut lemon that isn’t sour thanks to the salty lick of chalk and biscuit that make this feel medium bodied in weight.
‘Staying In? Try a South African wine’, says John Wilson of the Irish Times. Couldn’t have put it better myself!
Continue reading Lismore a Big Hit With Irish Times Wine Critic
In his column for the Sunday Times’ food and drink supplement The Dish, wine writer Will Lyons got very excited about Lismore Estate’s 2014 Viognier.
“Simply an incredible wine,” he wrote in a feature titled ‘South Africa Produces Must-buys for the Canny Connoisseur’.
Continue reading In The Papers: Lismore Estate Viognier, 2014
In a nutshell: A big, rich old-world style Chardonnay that’s lush, mouth-filling and brilliant with food.
Continue reading WOTW: Lismore Estate Vineyards, Chardonnay 2012