It was when Samantha O’Keefe, a Berkley-educated student, moved to a quiet little town in South Africa that the seeds for the Lismore Wine Estate were sown. She moved to the beautiful town of Greyton, located at the bottom of the Riviersonderend range of mountains. Though there weren’t any wine producers nearby, she realised the potential of the land, thanks to the excellent climatic conditions and terroir quality of the place.
It was during this time that she decided to buy her own vineyard in Greyton to pursue her winemaking passions. She bought the Greyton farm in 2003 and began planting her vines in the next year itself. With an altitude of 300m above sea level and blessed by snow-clad winters & scorching summer sun, the vineyards were ideal for growing intense and complex grape varietals.
The clay-rich soil along with the awesome terroir made from decomposed shale enable the Lismore wine estate to grow some high-quality and full-bodied varietals such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc. Samantha started this wine label not only to give wings to her winemaking dreams, but also to support her family, as she had two sons to take care of. She continues to be the only wine producer in the Greyton area, but that hasn’t stopped her one bit from improving her brand’s name in South Africa and beyond.
One of the trademark winemaking principles followed at the Lismore winery is to use neural oak only for barrel fermenting the wines created here. None of the wines is created using the Malo fermentation technique. Thanks to this, Samantha’s wines have managed to impress the wine lovers and critics alike. Crispness, freshness, precision and elegance are some of the qualities that are associated with Lismore wines. The highlight is that Samantha ensures that she maintains these qualities in every single bottle created here.
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