It's been just a few years since Franco Lourens launched his own wines, and he's been wowing critics ever since. And yet for all the hype and recognition his wines receive, he's still the same modest, self-effacing chap always with a gentle smile on his face that we met back in 2018.
He gained experience working for the likes of David Ramey in California and Vasse Felix in Australia before returning to SA where he took up the role of assistant winemaker for the prodigious Chris Alheit of Alheit Vineyards, one of the most influential and talented winemakers of the Cape in the last decade.
And it's here, under Chris' watchful eye and tutelage that Franco began to produce his own wines. He produced a show-stopping first two vintages, with a precision and brilliance rarely seen in such a young winemaker, and the wines catching the eye of the likes of Tim Atkin MW and SA specialist, Greg Sherwood MW, and high scores left, right and centre.
Now sharing cellar space with friend and fellow talent, Lukas Van Loggerenberg, the wines follow a similar path to the new wave movement of of old-vine complexity, fine tune blending and masterly finesse. From his single-vineyard Steen to his Rhone red and white blendm these are impressive bottlings by any standard. A breathtakingly self-assured range and almost in the blink of an eye places Franco into the very top bracket of top-end New Wave SA producers.