Celebrating 35 years of winemaking at Neil Ellis

Neil Ellis started the wine brand in 1984, and at their celebrations held at their modern winery on the Helshoogte Pass in Stellenbosch, we were treated to a tasting through some of their older vintages, even the oldest wine bottled with the Neil Ellis label - a delicious 1984 Cabernet Sauvignon. The 1984 label is really lovely - and suggest that they bring it back!  More playful than the current classic labels, but very recognisabe I think.

This is one of the wineries which has not been in the farm for generations, but Neil had a vision and while working at Zevenwacht in the 80s, he decided that this is what he wanted to do. They operated from a rented property in Jonkershoek before they bought and built the winery where they currently make the wine.  Neil Ellis has become synonymous with classic good wine, made to reflect the variety and soil and they source wine from some of the top vineyards, including Elgin.

The entire family is involved at the farm, with Warren doing the wine-making, Margot the marketing, Charles managing the finances and Nikki (Warren's wife) handing their digital business.

Neil paid a very generous tribute to his wife Stephanie, without whose tenacity he felt they would not be where they are.

Neil is one of the industry's legends, having been a Cape Winemakers Guild member for many years, and setting an example of humility for the industry.