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Taillard wines - very much a family business
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Brad Brown: Welcome to this edition of Old Mutual Live. Great things start here. Great things start now. It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome our next guest onto the podcast, Anelise Taljaard. Anelise welcome onto the podcast. Thanks for chatting to us today.

Anelise Taljaard: Thank you, Brad.

BB: Anelise, you are part of Taillard family or Taillard wines. You guys are doing some amazing things. Tell us, where do we find you, where in the world are you based?

Where Taillard Family Wines are situated

AT: Brad, we are halfway between Malmesbury and Wellington, on the foothills of the Perdeberg. Our farm looks out over the Wellington Mountains. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

BB: It sounds horrible. Anelise, how long have you guys been involved in the wine industry?

AT: Brad, my dad built the farm about 10 years ago, and then we went through a couple of changes. Then about two years ago, we were very fortunate to get Teddy Hall on board, as our winemaker. From there onwards, we’ve been developing the Taillard brand, so that’s why we’re fairly new in the market with the Taillard brand, but we’ve paid our school fees.

BB: Yes, it’s challenging. You talk about school fees, and we can touch on that in a moment as well, and one of those fees that you need to pay is obviously, working within the family environment. It’s one thing producing wine when it’s purely a business but when there are family members involved that adds a whole, new challenging dynamic, doesn’t it?

AT: You have no idea. No, you know what, I adore my dad but we’re very similar and about a year ago, I used to work in the corporate environment all my life. About a year ago, I got bored with what I was doing, and I went through my options and that’s the day I decided to join the family business. You can just imagine the conversations my dad and I had, over a couple of bottles of wine but, in the end, he let me have my way.

Family brings an unmatched passion to a business

BB: It’s one thing, I talk about creating and producing wine as a purely economic and commercial venture, but when there is family involved, even though there are challenges and unique dynamics there’s love and passion involved, which makes a big difference too.

AT: It makes a huge difference, Brad. We’ve been working with marketers all our lives and so on, and even though you get good ones and the normal ones. There is nothing that can compete with somebody who is absolutely passionate about the product that they’re putting out there and because wine is sold with stories. People love to hear what it’s about and it’s a whole experience. That piece of passion, you cannot buy it.

BB: Absolutely. Talk to me a little bit about the story. How did your dad get in? You say he bought the farm. Was he always interested in wine? Was it a passion project, or has it always been part of his life?

The story behind Taillard wines

AT: I can answer that in quite a number of ways. My dad has always loved his wine and he and his friend, Herman Hannibal. From my youngest memories, are them sitting on Herman’s patio in Stellenbosch and the two of them sitting there and dreaming about getting involved in the wine business, but no, my dad spent most of his career, or all of his career frankly, in the mining industry. Then as guys do, they decide to get a hobby and the wine farm was supposed to be his hobby. He bought that 10 years ago and, yes, he’s been having fun with it ever since.

BB: It sounds amazing. Tell me a little bit about where you are you mentioned you’re at the foot of the Perdeberg. It’s a beautiful part of the country. It’s absolutely magnificent but it’s not just beautiful. It’s almost as perfect as it gets to be able to grow fantastic grapes that can produce wonderful wines.

AT: Oh, definitely. The swirl conditions and everything is absolutely perfect, especially for red wines. We do have a little bit of white wine on the farm but that is just to make sure that we can put something out there, in the range. Seeing that Teddy Hall is our winemaker but that part of the country is just so phenomenal for red wines.

We find that especially, well if you look at one of our ranges, ‘The Everyday Enjoyment Range’, those wines we’re all going to go with single cultivar wines. Purely because we find that, the grapes we produce are very, very typical of the cultivar, so when you do a Merlot – it’s a Merlot. We don’t have to blend it in to anything else to make it taste better or anything.

BB: Please tell us a little bit about your relationship with Teddy. He’s been in the industry for a while as well, and it’s often, when it’s a family business, you have your own, sort of unique ideas and values that you impart on the brand but when you get a winemaker coming into a family business like that – it does also create its own set of challenges.

Teddy Hall is a great winemaker

AT: I love working with Teddy. You know, the one thing where he’s absolutely phenomenal is he is there to create beautiful wines. That’s his passion and that is what he is so good at. So what I love about working with him is I can go to him and say, “Teddy, this is the range that we want to create for whatever reason we’ve decided. This is the style of wine that I want and this is the price point that I want for it.” Then I come back a couple of weeks later, and it’s there and it is absolutely, spot-on, for what I’ve asked him to do.

A nice thing about it is because none of us in the family are winemakers or have ever studied winemaking or anything, we don’t get involved or hung up on how he does his job because we know that he just knows what to do, and because he’s so well respected and well liked in the industry as well. We are just so fortunate to have his talent on board.

BB: Let’s talk about some of those wines and I find it interesting that you go to the winemaker and say, “This is what we want to produce. This is the price point. Off you go and make it happen.” Tell us a little bit about some of the wines you do produce.

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