We met up with maverick winemaker, Craig Hawkins at Lammershoek. It’s hard not to get caught up in Craig’s real passion for natural wine making and his openness to push the boundaries of winemaking and wine in general. And of course, the highlight was being there as he was bottling his “Sink the Pink” and to taste what gives this winemaker his edgy reputation.
To help us get to know Craig better, we asked him a few questions and interviewed him on camera. Take a look at the Q&A below and watch the video to get the inside track on what makes Craig tick.
What inspired you to make wine for a living?
My older brother Neil (now living in Oz) farmed and made wine long before I was doing it. It was through working with him in the vineyards first to basically get some holiday and beer money, that I fell in love with it. It was then that I realized there was a lot more to it than just the vineyards and tasting and drinking with him pushed me firmly in this direction.
What excites you about making wine?
I love experiencing new feelings, flavors, taste and smells, hence why I like traveling even if it is just 50km away to some place you have never been, as there is always something new to discover. It is the same with wine there is always something new to discover.
What are some of your favourite aspects of your wine region?
The remoteness, fresh air, clean water and people who are not the first to go home. That and the old vines on granite and its just beautiful to look at every day.
Tell us about your best wine that you have brought to the market and what it felt like creating and sharing it?
Always a tough question as the wines I make are always striving for purity and I don’t favor one over the other or believe one is better than the other they just have different qualities, Just some vintages give me better results than others.
What’s your favourite wine and why?
My favorite wine also varies but at the moment, butI love the wines from Eric Pfifferling in Southern France, they make me happy and give me energy.
What would your message be to people discovering and drinking wine for the first time?
Drink and be merry, that is what wine is meant for! It is only wine and not some elixir meant for the rich and silver spooners.
Wine lingo – your favourite wine word and what it means?
One word I use a lot of is Acid. I was asked at a recent tasting where I was doing a talk and I said that “I pick/harvest on acidity” (means I decide when to harvest based on the acidity in the grapes), the guy said to me: “so you pick on acid?” and I responded saying: “I’m not on acid” .