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Analjit Singh’s Winery Partner Andrea Mullineux Winemaker of the Year

Posted: Satursday, 12 November 2016 14:36

 

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Analjit Singh’s Winery Partner Andrea Mullineux Winemaker of the Year

Nov 12: The US publication Wine Enthusiast has named Andrea Mullineux, partner with her husband Chris Mullineux and Max India’s Chairman Emeritus Bhai Analjit Singh (BAS) in the Swartland-located Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, their "Winemaker of the Year”, making her the first South African and the third woman ever to be bestowed the honour during the 17-year history of the Wine Star Awards of the magazine, writes Subhash Arora who met her again recently at the Cape Winemaker’s Guild Tasting in Cape town and was bowled over by her wines, modesty and simplicity

An elated Andrea says this honour is not only an accolade for the wines she creates with her excellent team, but also recognition of the exciting wines and regions of South Africa that are still being discovered and applauded by international wine professionals and consumers alike. This recognition comes soon after the Platter's South African Wine Guide declaring Mullineux Straw Wine 2015 as the 2017 "Dessert Wine of the Year". As expected this small bottling is already out of stock, though. For details of the Awards, click:

Andrea Mullineux is co-owner and winemaker at the highly successful South African winery Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, with her husband Chris as the co-founder director, joined later by Bhai Analjit Singh, Chairman Emeritus of Max India Ltd. Together, they own brands like Mullineux, based in the Swartland region at Roundstone Farm, as well as a new and soon-to-be-released project based in Franschhoek at the Leeu Estate. She also owns a tiny California brand, Fog Monster Wines and is a member of the respected Cape Winemaker's Guild.

 Lauren Buzzeo, Tasting Director and Senior Editor of Wine Enthusiast had nominated Andrea Mullineux for the Award. He says, “Andrea is a wonderfully talented winemaker. Every wine she makes is done with care, attention and masterful craft, from the more accessible Kloof Street to the superb Single Terroir range and Straw Wine. It’s a rare skill for a winemaker to express a brand identity and individual personality while also preserving a sense of place and terroir. This is something that Andrea does seemingly with ease. We can talk of the high scores and quality she manages to get but it’s the passion for and dedication to her profession, her community, her fellow winemakers both at home and abroad, and the wine industry as a whole that truly sets her apart.” 

These awards are a tribute to the people and companies that have not only achieved success in their diverse and dynamic industries but have made a meaningful impact on the way in which wine is marketed, perceived and enjoyed around the globe.

Since the launch of the Mullineux brand in 2007, Andrea and her husband Chris have notched up 18 five-star wine ratings from the prestigious Platter's South African Wine Guide, the most influential wine guide in the country. Mullineux was also named Winery of the Year in both 2014 and 2016 last year. Today Andrea produces a select range of hand-crafted wines from the Granite, Schist, Quartz, and Iron based soils of the Swartland and a new range of wines from old vineyards in other regions for the new brand.

South Africans have certainly been impressed with the quality of her wines from Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines- enough to bag for the first time in South Africa, 5 stars for five of its labels by the Platter’s Guide 2016 and be declared as the Winery of the Year for the second time (it also received this accolade 3 years ago) and having two of their wines declared as the Best Red Wine and Best Dessert wine. For the earlier report, visit

US born Andrea grew up in California and went to South Africa in 2004. She has been to UC Davis for four years to get her BS degree in winemaking. She worked in a couple of wineries including Cakebread Cellars in Napa and then worked in South Africa. After working with Waterford winery she went to Chateau-Neuf-du Pape in South of France. That is where she met Chris who is from Johannesburg, and was working in Bandol at the time.

Reminiscing about Mullineux, she says, ‘Both of us were working in South Africa at Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards, named later as Fable Mountain, on our return from France when an interesting offer came from a retired Englishman who wanted us to set up a winery with the venture capital from him. ‘We were in our 20s and normally would think of setting up our own winery 20 years later.  We mulled it over for 2 weeks and decided to take the plunge. Chris and I got into the project in 2007 and started buying grapes and making wine in 2008 vintage at a rented winery.' As had been the understanding, the investor pulled out in 2012. Rosa Kruger, the well-known viticulture consultant who was working with us knew of Bhai Analjit Singh (BAS) being interested in investing in a winery, got us together. He bought the shares of the investor and the rest is history.’

Style of Winemaking

‘We were passionate enough and clear in our mind that we would make the style we wanted and not what everybody else was doing. That included staying away from too much wood (oak) and very high alcohol and getting the best grapes from whichever part of the Cape it was possible and not necessarily restricted to one area. This goes for Leeu estate wines too. I believe that wine should be age-worthy but should also give pleasure if drunk young,’ says Andrea, describing their style.

Sulphur in winemaking

Andrea is very particular about low Sulphur in their wines as a winemaking philosophy. At a private dinner hosted by BAS during their visit to Delhi last year she had told delWine, ‘Whereas with other producers it may go up to 150 ppm, we keep it at 40-60 parts per million by being organic in our farming, though not certified, and keeping the levels low. Chris suffers a headache when the quantity is even slightly higher than usual. In fact, sometimes while pouring Sulphur, I get an instant headache as if I have had too much to drink,’ she says, ephasizing that sulphur should be used with restraint.’ Mullineux Story with Chris and Andrea

For related Article BAS: Good Luck Charm for South African Winery

delWine wishes to congratulate Andrea Mullineux for bring pride to South Africa, besides excellent wines and raise a toast to her, Chris Andrea and Bhai Analjit Singh and say...Jai Ho!!

Subhash Arora

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Tags: Wine Enthusiast, Andrea Mullineux, Chris Mullineux, Bhai Analjit Singh, Mullineux Winery, Wine Star Awards, Cape Winemaker’s Guild Tasting, Cape town, South Africa, Platter's South African Wine Guide, Mullineux Straw Wine , Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, Max India Ltd, Mullineux, Roundstone Farm, Franschhoek, Fog Monster Wines, Cape Winemaker's Guild Lauren Buzzeo, Kloof Street, Kloof Street, Swartland, Cakebread Cellars, Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards, Fable Mountain, Rosa Kruger, BAS, Sulphur

       

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