Martin Meinert, original owner, farmer and winemaker, is behind many of South Africa’s foremost wines. The Meinert Wines include the highly rated Synchronicity, Merlot and Printer’s Ink Pinotage.
From 1989, Martin was responsible for establishing the new Vergelegen winery as well as the Cape showpiece’s wines between 1992 and 1997.
Martin collaborates with Ken Forrester to make the iconic FMC (Forrester Meinert Chenin). He enjoys an integral role in consulting to the rapidly emerging Cape superstar, Eagles’ Nest in Constantia.
How Martin Found His Art
Born and partly schooled in Windhoek, Namibia, he briefly and misguidedly studied Civil Engineering for a short while after leaving Rondebosch Boys High School. Martin turned his attention to Journalism, perhaps because of his family history in the printing industry. He began a career with the now defunct Rand Daily Mail in Johannesburg. It was during this time that his interest in wine grew to the extent that he decided to study oenology.
He graduated from the University of Stellenbosch in 1984 with a B.Sc. Agriculture (Viticulture and Oenology) cum laude and was awarded the Professor I. Perold medal as one of the top two final year students in the Faculty of Agriculture.
Where in the World
His first appointment was as assistant winemaker at Simonsig Estate from 1984 to 1986 after which he left to travel. He and his family visited Australia, New Zealand and France. He landed for a time in America where he worked a vintage in Sonoma County, California.
On his return to South Africa he joined the Bergkelder (Distell) and in his two-and-a-half years there worked as a viticultural advisor. He consulted to Uitkyk and Meerendal and was responsible for the company’s sparkling wines, including the maiden bottling of Pongracz.
Martin has travelled extensively for the love of wine. In 1992 he worked at Chateau Lafite Rothschild in the Medoc, and in 1994 at Los Vascos in Chile. Over the years, he returned to California, France and Australia several times and has also visited Portugal, Argentina and Italy.
With his passion and drive for unique and distinctive wines, Martin consulted to Elgin Vintners and has in the past also consulted to Morgenhof, Sylvan Vale, Stonewall and Graceland.
Between 1994 and 2001 he was a member of the prestigious Cape Winemakers Guild. With Ken Forrester and two additional partners he owns the popular wineland restaurant 96 Winery Road.
The interest in the position of Winemaker/GM at Meinert Wines was high and we received applications from excellent young talent. Brendan has all the required skills but what stands out is his insatiable drive. He’s possessed by the will to reach the top level in the career he loves, and I can’t imagine a force that could stop him. Brendan had worked at Jordan Wines of Stellenbosch some years ago – the endorsement of him by Gary Jordan was so emphatic it left no room for doubt. I have the pleasure of learning from him for a few years yet while we work through the transition of the brand.