STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA
Johan Reyneke is a surfer. He also makes wine, but if you were to ask him what he would want to do for a living, he'd probably say 'be a surfer'. So when you consider that his wine is his second passion, the fact that they are so brilliant is an even bigger achievement!
Reyneke is one of the biggest supporters of biodynamic production, creating a living entity in his vineyards and working hand in hand with nature. This living entity is important, as it means that the vineyard sustains itself. If you can produce your own fertilisers by keeping animals, it means you don't have to bring it in in a truck. This is not only more cost effective, but reduces your carbon footprint. Instead of using artificial pesticides, you introduce the pest's natural predator, which is why you'll see squadrons of ducks waddling around the vineyard munching on snails. If you can't get the predator to do away with a bug, planting companion plants in the vineyard means that the pest sets up home on these rather than the vine.
By working with nature rather than trying to exploit it, Reyneke finds that his harvest is better and he can control more by not controlling it - and that might mean he can spend more time on his surf board.