Trizanne Barnard leads herself with both the coolness of a surfer and the drive of an award-winning winemaker and business owner. It’s fitting; she wears all those hats. For Trizanne, surfing has been a calming and humbling antidote to the roller coaster of life as a pioneering woman in the South Africa wine industry.
This yin-yang temperament naturally drives her winemaking style. It is perhaps thanks to harvests in Alsace, Bordeaux, the Rhône, and the Douro that Trizanne adopted the terroir-driven mentality of choosing specific sites based upon which grapes will be most suitable for the soil and climate. She is always looking for freshness, uniqueness and contrast, which she has found in the cooler temperature vineyards of Elim for Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon contrasted with the concentrated reds of the drier Swartland.
Trizanne’s choice to work with the iconic pairing of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc was born during her time in Margaret River, where she learned how they can work harmoniously. And it was an influential university internship with Chris Mullineux that led her to pick her first Syrah site in the Swartland. Ultimately, Trizanne always seeks to make wines that remind you of their origin. “If you taste the Elim wine, and you close your eyes, you could imagine being near the ocean because you have salinity in the wines, there’s a minerality. It’s a wind ravaged area, and there’s a sort of wildness, and it creates these solid, structured, beautifully aromatic wines” she elaborates.
The biophilia that is apparent in Trizanne’s winemaking is also a unique pillar of her business. She supports Waves of Change, a nonprofit organization that turns neglected beaches into hubs for skills training with vulnerable youth. Trizanne is a force for good, showing us that wine is so much more than a trade commodity; it is a keenly crafted work of art that brings people together and invites a connection to nature.