It is no secret that South Africa’s Cape is one of the most dynamic, progressive and improved wine regions in the world. One rising star of the South African wine scene is California born Samantha O’Keefe and her Lismore Estate wines.
300 metres up in the foothills of a dramatic Overberg mountain range, Sam found the perfect terroir to establish her new estate in the early 2000s. An area traditionally viewed as unsuitable for viticulture, Sam immediately saw the potential with a climate that was chilled by the winter snow and nourished by the long African summer sun. The whites of Lismore are characterised by a classic cool climate profile, producing wines that are rich and complex having been expertly hand crafted. With one of the coolest climates in South Africa with extreme diurnal temperature shifts, her wines have a very distinct sense of place and remain rather unique in their style even compared to the other great wines of the region.
After the devastating wildfire in December 2019 where Sam lost her home, winery and parts of her vineyard, the 2021 vintage represents a new chapter with the wines being vinified in the rebuilt winery. There are two Estate Reserve Wines exclusively from estate fruit this year – The Reserve Chardonnay, which avoided most of the fire damage, and Viognier which is highly limited in availability as only 40% of the vines survived. The excellent Chenin Blanc and “Age of Grace” Viognier come from purchased fruit from some of Samantha’s closest winemaking friends.