Chris Albrecht, winemaker at Bouchard Finlayson continues the legacy of bottling vinous wonders in the Hemel-en-Aarde

Magic is a difficult thing to define. It’s a feeling that runs up your spine and all your senses light up; scents become keener, your eyes open wider. Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve is a place drenched in the stuff, from the bowl of sky above, cut at night with crystal stars, to the silent and stoic sandstone rock formations of the surrounding Cederberg.

It’s against this mystic backdrop that a small group of us have come up for a weekend of Bouchard Finlayson wines as well as to get to know winemaker Chris Albrecht a bit better.

Located just three hours out of Cape Town, the Cederberg is the largest outdoor art gallery in the world; scores of bushman paintings climb the rocks offering insight into their lives across a span of 10,000 years. The reserve is owned by the Tollman family of Red Carnation Hotels, who also own the aforementioned Hemel-en-Aarde wine estate.

2017 was Chris’s first solo vintage. He has been with Bouchard since 2010, starting out as an assistant winemaker under the mentorship of founder and cellar master, the legendary Peter Finlayson.


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