Donovan Rall is one of the key figures in South Africa’s explosive New Wave movement. One of the original “garagista” producers in the Swartland, Donovan can now proudly say that he makes some of the most highly sought-after wines in the country. Well-travelled, affable, and ambitious, he trained at the University of Stellenbosch in viticulture and enology with David Sadie, amongst others, then worked in wineries across Europe and Australia before returning to South Africa in 2007. There he joined Eben Sadie as an assistant winemaker but in the space of a year, he had six barrels tucked away under his own name, and the inaugural Rall White was born.
An immediate critical success, Donovan struck out on his own and he has not looked back, still buying up small parcels of top-quality fruit, contracting vineyards, and strengthening his reputation as a master blender. Over time he has fine-tuned his own winemaking style towards fresher, more vivid wines, and the wines have never looked better. Fermentations are natural and spontaneous with no interventions, and aging takes place in various vessels including concrete, cask and amphora depending on the variety. Primarily Swartland based, Donovan also takes prime fruit from the Piekenierskloof, Darling and Stellenbosch regions, and consults on various projects around the country.