The first few Flagstone vintages in the late 1990s were an adventure in winemaking, characterised by very little sleep, much wine, back-breaking work and the discovery of great food…actually, not much has changed.
We have always been fired up to do things differently, even though now, with over 20 years experience in this business, we’ve learnt this is sometimes the harder road to travel.
But we’ve also learnt that if you go at your chosen passion with enthusiastic, unbridled zeal, you are also going to have more fun.
The Flagstone winemaking operation started in a run-down shell of an old depot in Cape Town harbour – it was South Africa’s first urban winery. Our founder chose this location because the rent was cheap and he could afford it. For security, he put up a razorwire fence around the yard and adopted a huge Boxer from the SPCA called Malolactic, or Malo for short. He was a beautiful dog and kept the team company on many a long nightshift.
Logistics were tricky as they didn’t have the budget for a large team. Often they would work all day, then load a truck of empty crates at midnight and head off into the hinterland, stopping at 4am outside the farmer’s gate for a quick power nap, before picking with the team.
The energy and creativity was infectious. People said Flagstone felt more like a cross between an advertising agency and a Greenpeace operation, than a winery. Most importantly, we really had fun. There were lots of parties. Fortunately, we made delicious wine as well.
Joyfulness is a crucial essence in all the wines we make. You get this partly through the balance of all elements and of course through the clarity and cleanness of aromas and flavours. But you can also contribute to this x-factor by how you treat the land and the people you work with. Most importantly, perhaps, is the energy you plough into the creative process of winemaking yourself.
In 2002, our production outgrew the location and Flagstone moved to an old dynamite factory in Somerset West. With thick walls and huge doors to get equipment in and out, this has proved to be an ideal location and all of our Flagstone wines are made here.
Based in a historic 1901 dynamite factory originally built by Cecil Rhodes, the Flagstone Cellar Door offers a unique experience for wine lovers from around the Globe. (Click here – Our Story)