What began as a festive three barrel foot stomp event attended by a handful of friends on a South Peninsula beach in 1996, produced a very palatable Syrah, and saw the founding in 1997 of the first true micro-winery in the Western Cape with Pinot Noir the main focus. The aptly named Barefoot Winery trading as Catherine Marshall Wines has long outgrown its humble origins to become a legendary institution which exports to a number of markets world- wide.
Catherine’s 1991 graduation from Elsenburg Agricultural College in 1991 (where she was one of only two female students) was followed by apprenticeships at various local cellars interspersed with international experiences in France, USA, and Australia. Resident winemaking positions at four wineries in Stellenbosch and Paarl led to a solo career in 2007 establishing and running the wine business. Catherine was also instrumental in formalizing the Garagiste Movement of South Africa. This includes a diverse range of passionate winemakers who have a small wine output but who do not compromise on quality resulting in some superb hand-crafted wines. She has collected many local and international awards for her wines and her total commitment to detail and hands-on approach in vineyards and wine production are evident in the unique character of her range.
‘When we started on our wine journey from humble origins in 1997… our intention was to produce a range of unique wines of excellence and, above all, to have fun doing it. As custodians of such an ancient craft, a balanced, holistic, creative, and respectful approach reflects harmony and character in our wines,’ says Catherine.
These Pinot grapes were selected from the ultra cool Elgin Valley between Somerset West and Hermanus. The valley is located at an altitude of about 700 m above sea level and surrounded by a ring of mountains which results in a high annual precipitation and low average temperatures. Grapes were selected from two cool sites grown mostly in clay soils with a high iron, ferrous content that contributes to blocky, textured tannin structure and earthy, savoury top notes.