Unique West Coast Winery Fryer’s Cove Hits 90s in Tim Atkin Report

Wednesday, 15 September, 2021
Fryer's Cove Vineyards
Fryer’s Cove Wines, one of the most unique boutique wineries in the country situated at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean on the remote Cape West Coast at Doring Bay, continues to prove that great South African wines can originate from the most far-flung locations.

In this year’s Tim Atkin Report on South African wine three wines from Fryer’s Cove eclipsed the magic 90pt threshold, ratings headed up by the Fryer’s Cove Hollebaksstrandfontein Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2020 which notched a rating of 93pts. This was followed by 92pts for the Bamboes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2020 and the Bamboes Bay Pinot Noir 2019 which garnered 90pts.

According to Liza Goodwin, Fryer’s Cove winemaker, the unique location and intimate aesthetics of Fryer’s Cove is complemented by the winery’s ability to make exceptional wines from terroir that can only be described as “off the beaten track”.

“With a winery built right on the water in an old fish factory and a stunning set of cool-climate wines from vineyards planted 500m from the water’s edge, Fryer’s Cove has gained a reputation locally and internationally as a truly special place to make wine,” says Goodwin.

“While the location is charming and the origin of Fryer’s Cove makes for a good story, it is always about the wine and the exceptional expression of grapes grown in an extreme maritime environment. The fact that the Tim Atkin scores places Fryer’s Cove among the finest Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa underscores the individuality of site and the commitment to establishing Fryer’s Cove as not only one of the most magical wineries in South Africa, but one making the best wines too.”

Renowned for Sauvignon Blanc, Fryer’s Cove also makes Pinot Noir from six hectares of Bamboes Bay vineyards.

Fryer’s Cove was founded on an idea Jan “Ponk” Van Zyl, an Olifants River farmer and brother-in-law winemaker Wynand Hamman had in 1985 to make wine from a vineyard growing on the edge of the cold Atlantic Ocean. “Especially Sauvignon Blanc, which we had heard liked extreme conditions on the cool side,” says Van Zyl. “We had the site, on the water’s edge some 30km west of the town of Vredendal. But the dream could only be realised in 1999 when an irrigation pipeline was built between Vredendal and the sea-front land we had demarcated for planting.”

Goodwin, who has in her career built a reputation for Sauvignon Blanc says varietal expression found on that part of the West Coast is totally unique to the region. “Diversity is one of the strengths of South Africa’s Sauvignon Blanc offering, the grapes from the region of Fryer’s Cove being a case in point,” she says.

“A firm maritime influence and cool, mineral expression distinguish our wines, which continuously offer a sense of place,” she says. “The Tim Atkin ratings are the result of Fryer’s Cove’s commitment to encapsulate this very special region in every glass, while at the same time creating wines of non-negotiable quality and finesse.”