RIANIE STRYDOM is on the top of the world. Not only is she rapidly filling the shelves of the trophy cabinet on the farm but she is also in her element in her role as both winemaker and general manager at Haskell Vineyards high on the slopes of the Helderberg between Stellenbosch and Somerset West.
“I liked the idea of combining science and nature, and I love being outdoors”
Haskell Vineyards makes its home on the slopes of the Helderberg mountain range in Stellenbosch. The Helderberg, also known as the ‘Golden Triangle’, is widely recognised as South Africa’s finest wine growing sub region, and is the residence of many of the most famous names in South African wine.
Since inception in 2002, the central focus of Haskell Vineyards has been to create unique, terroir driven wines that would be recognised as amongst the finest of their style produced in South Africa.
The first wines produced under the Haskell label were from the stellar 2007 vintage, albeit in tiny quantities. Released in late 2009 were two Syrah’s from the Syrah Vineyard Series (SVS) range, the Haskell Pillars Syrah 2007 and the Haskell Aeon Syrah 2007. In July 2010, a third wine, the Haskell IV 2007 (Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot) will be released, completing the initial trilogy of offerings.
Within the first twelve months of operation, Haskell was awarded a prestigious 5 star accolade by the John Platter Guide. It also became the first South African winery since the inception of the Tri-Nations Challenge to win Best Syrah, Best Red Wine and Best Wine of Show in the 2009 competition, where the finest wines of South Africa are pitted against the best from Australia and New Zealand.