South African Winemaker Turns Milk Into Wine


A maverick boutique winemaker, Stompie Meyer, has diverged from the family legacy of dairy farming to follow his love of wine.

“I thought it would be a more rewarding lifestyle becoming a winemaker than a dairy farmer. It seemed far more appealing drinking wine than milk,” comments Meyer.

However, Meyer was not just content with bucking family tradition and has gone on to become one of a new breed of winemakers who are adopting fresh, alternative approaches to making wine.

Having matriculated at the agricultural college in Riversdale, Meyer, who at the time was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps as a dairy farmer, enrolled at Stellenbosch University. It was here that he was exposed to and developed a love for wine.

After completing his studies Meyer went travelling to obtain exposure to winemaking in California, New Zealand, Spain and France, and it was here that he was first exposed to the “alternative” methods of making wine; organic, biodynamic and natural processes.

After working on various wine farms and cellars, in 2010 Meyer decided to go solo in order to pursue his passion of alternative winemaking. He now operates from the village of Hermon, 10km from Riebeek Kasteel where he produces a range of affordable, accessible, unrefined, unfiltered, and natural wines for the market.

“I don’t make wine by recipe,” says Meyer. “Instead of interfering with the process, like adding enzymes or tampering with the pH, I employ alternative measures. I am led by the grape. If the wine does not require filtering, I do not filter.”

Fitting then that Meyer’s range is named Force Majeure, as if produced by an Act of God.

Despite the bulk of Meyer’s limited production being exported to an increasingly demanding market for natural products in the USA and Europe, one can still find these wines on the wine lists of some of South Africa’s top restaurants, including Le Quartier Francais, The Test Kitchen, The Pot Luck Club, Mulberry and Prince, Majeka House, Wolfgat, and La Colombe.

The Art Of Wine

In August, Stompie will be part of a unique collaboration that will see him participating in a bespoke art event called “Solo Studios – Intimate Art Encounters” which is taking place in the Riebeek Valley from the 9th to the 12th of August 2018.

Solo Studios is an annual event that has fast made a name for itself amongst art lovers and has firmly established itself on the events calendar – providing a rare opportunity for art collectors – from beginners to the very seasoned – to visit artists in their studios to view and purchase their art straight off the easel. This will be the third year that the event will take place, with this years event offering something new entitled “The Art Of Wine” – a must for wine lovers.

Klaus Piprek, the organiser behind Solo Studios explains that The Art of Wine sees Stompie Meyer and sommelier Joseph Tongai Dhafana collaborating to hold talks and host tastings over the course of the Solo Studios weekend. Limited edition box sets of curated wines will be available to purchase, with the labels having been specially designed by the Solo Studios artists.

More on Solo Studios

The participating artists for Solo Studios 2018 who open their private homes and studios to a limited number of visitors over the weekend are: Tamlin Blake, Claudia Gurwitz, Jenny Parsons, Antoinette von Saurma, Leila Fanner, Ivan Kirstein, Louisa Gerryts, Gordon Williams, Solly Smook, Andre van Vuuren, Tanya Majo, Riaan van Zyl, Raymond Oberholzer, Greta McMahon, Wiehan de Jager and Emma Willemse.

Tickets for the event come in a variety of options. The “Premier Weekend Pass”, a regular “Weekend Pass”, and “Day Passes” for the Saturday or Sunday respectively. An additional cover charge will be applicable at select entertainment venues.

The 2018 event takes place over an extended long weekend, Thursday 9 August being Women’s Day.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.solostudios.co.za and follow the link to Webtickets. A limited number of tickets are available and pre-booking is essential. For more information on Solo Studios contact Klaus Piprek on 074 209 6838, or email klaus@solostudios.co.za.