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2020 - The year of ‘the glass half-full’

14 September 2020  -  Le Grand Domaine

2020 Has been an interesting and challenging year, to say the least. Despite the hardships enveloping 2020, Owner and Founder, Bernard Fontannaz, has implemented a sound strategy, ensuring the winery emerges stronger than ever.

Bernard Fontannaz is founder of Origin Vineyards, a premium wine business built up from vineyards he owns in South Africa, Argentina, and Switzerland. He purchased Le Grand Domaine in 2016 to create a “chateau concept” and produce iconic Bordeaux blends based on varieties that come from carefully selected clones and rootstock. He is passionate about promoting premium wines from South Africa and is working to create a new Grand Cru style system to raise the profile of the wines of the Devon Valley, where Le Grand Domaine is situated.

2020 kicked off with Bernard putting together a ‘dream-team’ to drive the new Le Grand Domaine wines. Bringing on non-other than winemaker Debbie Thompson to spearhead the winemaking operation. A graduate from Stellenbosch University she spent the next 20 years as winemaker at Simonsig. Her professed goal at Le Grand Domaine is to make wines that truly express and reflect the terroir and the essence of the grape itself.

In charge of the vineyards, we find viticulturist, Johann Smit. A graduate from Stellenbosch University he spent the next 20 years at Spier. His objective is to farm lighter with more consideration for the environment and South Africa’s heritage. For him, the three most important words are people, planet, and profit, in that order. He feels the vulnerability of grapes to nuances in the weather makes wine both particularly susceptible to climate change and a indication of what is to come for the wine industry and agriculture.

We are thrilled to have recently released our 2020 Vintages - an exceptional vintage for Le Grand Domaine. A bigger wine grape crop than in 2019, thanks to good reserves accumulated in the post-harvest period. Rain fell during critical berry growth stages and a moderate climate throughout the growing season, resulting in perfect colour, balance and acidity in our wines.

Le Grand Domaine has launched wine sales and aid campaigns in efforts to keep South African wine consumers glasses full and the South African wine industry alive!
Involved in all the social media campaigns and movements that are focused on promoting and uplifting the South African Wine Industry; determined to make a positive change wherever possible.

On Offer to consumers is access to Free Delivery and 20% off all wines on our online shop.

Le Grand Domaine’s #WeCare campaigns will not only be focused on the South African wine industry, but also those most vulnerable in these desperate and difficult times. It’s never too late to start helping.

For more information, where to purchase our wines, or get involved in our campaigns, please visit our website or find us on Facebook - Contact us at