“From an old family farm to making wine on an international level.”
DESTINED TO BECOME A WINEMAKER
I grew up on an old family farm on the foothills of the Paardeberg Mountain, called Staart van Paardeberg. My dad, Niel Malan farmed wine grapes for as long as I can remember and my granddad, the late Dan Malan, was one of the proprietors and the Chairman of the board at Paardeberg Co-op and played an intricate role in the development of The Paardeberg as a wine region.
I was always destined to become a winemaker; it’s in my heritage and in my blood. After I matriculated in 2000, I decided to venture into the world, and soon realized that my destiny is waiting for me in the fruit of the vine. In 2002 I started my National Diploma at Elsenburg. After graduating at the end of 2005 I cut my winemaking teeth at Uva Mira Vineyards and worked there as an assistant winemaker and viticulturist. Thereafter I joined the team at Slaley as Chief Winemaker and Viticulturist till 2009, thereafter MALANOT became my life. After my first year, I was intrigued even more by the world of wine and what it’s all about.
I decided to further my studies and successfully completed the Diploma with the Cape Wine Academy which encouraged me to carry on and pursue the dream of becoming a Cape Wine Master, which I accomplished and graduated in 2014.
Living my dream
I’ve since completed the Wine Evaluation Course with the University of Stellenbosch, tasted on the Wine and Spirits Board, and have also completed the Pinotage Evaluation Course through the University of Stellenbosch. In 2011 I also became a Wine Magazine Tasting Academy Graduate. I have a special place in my heart for fine brandies and therefore completed the Van Rhyn brandy course with Distell.
I am currently offering my consultation services to various wine enterprises, from the administration of putting a cellar together, to sourcing the equipment and get the final product on the market. I also make wine for various clients that have the source of grapes, but no winemaking facility. This all gave me the opportunity to work with different varieties and different terroirs, and therefore living the winemaking dream!
My Winemaking Philosophy, “every winemaker must have a philosophy of some kind”, if we don’t, then we can just as well call ourselves food technicians according to mine.
The winemaker and viticulturist
An individualist at heart, Marius has always had the intention of starting his own brand, and becoming a free agent, honouring his winemaking philosophy.
Malanot is a Portmanteau for; “Malan”, Marius’ family name, and “Genot” meaning pleasure in Afrikaans.
Marius is an Elsenburg Graduate as well as a Cape Wine Master.
“I stand for minimal interference with the natural process.”
Guiding, not forcing.
Once you try to force the soil, a plant and its fruit in a way that you want it to be, you kind of missed the point. For me to create a great wine is about guiding the process instead of forcing it. Rather pick your soil, variety and clones correctly, than using randomly picked fruit. I use healthy older barrels with a little new component to create and focus on fruit that reflects its terroir. There is no merit to the madness of making a wine that tastes like a tree is there?
Focus on the fruit, respect it, honour it, and most of all, nurse it in the bottle so that it can shine a light out of the consumer’s glass. The key: ferment spontaneously – remember there is no such thing as wild fermentation! Why? because we can! Yeast from the vine forms much more interesting flavour components as to the cultivated commercial stuff you buy off the shelf. Yeast is for bread and beer, not perfectly proportioned wine. I work with healthy grapes to start with, from there, it’s about the grapes, soil, aspect and terroir – not the chemistry.
Intimate and personal.
The same goes for stabilization. Why remove something that is natural in a wine? The only stabilization that is necessary is protein stability in white wines, besides that, you are again interfering with the natural product. Therefore my white wines will certainly have a slight tartaric crystallization component on the bottom, but that’s what my wine is all about: natural, minimal interference and personal. I sincerely hope you all will find pleasure and integrity in my products!