Jacoline Haasbroek alias My Wyn. Some people forget my name but remember me as “The woman from My Wyn”. My Wyn started in 2001 when I decided to round off my Wine Diploma II, presented at the time by the Cape Wine Academy, by buying a ton of grapes and making my own wine rather than by doing their Wine Master course. Wanted to see whether what I had learnt on paper also worked in practice. Thanks to some excellent grapes, Shiraz from La Motte, Franschhoek and the help of many knowledgeable friends, my first effort was a success, delivering a sought-after wine and the inspiration to continue. Today, nine years later, I am still making Shiraz from the same La Motte grapes. I have now also branched out to other cultivars and am a member of the Franschhoek Vignerons, where I am recognised as their smallest cellar.
I manage my cellar and wine-tasting mostly on my own, with my gardener David lending a hand three days a week and more often in season. Of course hubby helps in an advisory capacity. I touch, taste and look at my grapes, relying on the gut feel from my right-brain, while he studies the manuals, does the sums and all the other left-brain things.
My Wyn does not have its own vineyards, but buys in grapes from the same suppliers, year after year. My home is in one of the prettiest corners of Franschhoek – it nestles against the lower slopes of the Du Toitskop mountains with a view over the length of the Franschhoek Valley. My wine-tastings are personal and intimate – you will never be in a throng. Against the backdrop created by our neighbours the baboons, the odd snake, the frogs in the pond, chameleons everywhere and my Dobermans of course, I personally conduct my tastings. When the weather gets threatening, we move to the cellar, cosy and welcoming, just three little tables between the barrels. Nothing is hurried, no need to gulp anything down; fellow tasters quickly cultivate friendships that often last for years and travel tips are exchanged. Best of all is when I welcome back visitors who have been before.
At harvest time I am often surprised on the job, all sticky and stained. Visitors then get a chance to punch down the fermenting grapes or to manhandle the wine press. And to taste the fresh wine in the making.
My Wyn specialises in hand-made wines, created in a rather primitive cellar without steel or modern technology, just lots of passion and heaps of patience.