Momento began in 2013 while Marelise Niemann was still winemaker at Beaumont Family Wines in South Africa’s Bot River region. She has since become known for wines of purity, elegance, and honesty, working with old vines in both Bot River and the Swartland with a minimal intervention approach putting terroir front and center. Now based at Anysbos Farm, she previously made the wines next door at Gabrielskloof for four years alongside Crystallum and Thorne & Daughters.
That first vintage was two barrels of Grenache and her love affair with the grape has deepened; she now works with all three Grenache varieties having added Grenache Blanc to the repertoire in 2019. Marelise has becoming increasingly known as her country’s champion of the variety. Marelise’s fascination with Grenache was stirred by her time in the Priorat region in Spain, where, along with Eben Sadie, she was inspired by how the old vine fruit was produced in such a fresh and vibrant way. She returned to South Africa determined seek out old vine Grenache. Outside Grenache, she also produces Tinta Barocca made in a style akin to cool-climate Pinot Noir and a Chenin Blanc-Verdelho blend. With climate change on the mind of most winemakers around the world, she’s betting on varieties well-suited to warmer conditions. For Marelise, working with grapes that are well adapted to where they are growing, reducing energy and water input and allowing vineyards to thrive naturally is the way forward.