Assaulting the senses

Thursday, 17 January, 2019
WOSA Blog, Fiona McDonald
Erika Obermeyer was chuffed just to be invited... to the Platter Wine Guide launch in November last year. “Obviously, I had more than a sneaking suspicion that one of my wines had received 5 Stars!”

There was no clue that she was to be singled out by Editor Philip van Zyl as the inaugural Newcomer of the Year for 2019. “I honestly couldn’t believe it! It was the biggest and best thing that could have happened to me last year,” she said recently.

It was the crowning achievement of what has been a tough couple of years for Obermeyer, the former cellar chief at Graham Beck’s erstwhile Franschhoek operation until it was sold after Mr Beck’s death in July 2010. Her former stomping ground has subsequently become the showpiece Tera del Capo facility and dedicated Optima production cellar, both part of Anthonij Rupert Wines.

In the past three years Obermeyer has had to undergo two corneal transplants after her vision gradually deteriorated to 10% due to a pre-existing genetic condition. “It’s been really tough – and starting my own business and making wine has been extremely challenging.”

Obvious puns can be made about her vision and now beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel but it genuinely holds true. Not only is her sight improving but her wines are winning over fans – one of whom just bought 10 cases of each for shipment to the United Kingdom immediately after tasting them!

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