Ross Sleet is a total legend. Businessman turned wine producer, there are few people out there in the wine game that are as clued up or commercially aware as Sleet is when it comes to delivering wine that "the people want to drink". This guy is a veteran of the
Ross Sleet is a total legend. Businessman turned wine producer, there are few people out there in the wine game that are as clued up or commercially aware as Sleet is when it comes to delivering wine that "the people want to drink".
This guy is a veteran of the UK wine trade. He has headed up teams at some of the largest wine operators in the world; adding Matthew Clark, Klein Zalze and Constellation Brands to his impressive resumé. Last week, our UK Wine Buyer, Harry had a chance to meet up with Ross, at London's High Timber restaurant; taste through some of his new wines, and take the opportunity to get to know the man behind some of the coolest labels in the Good Pair Days family.
Why Rascallion? Why Now?
Ross has headed up some pretty mammoth project over the years, with such a wealth of experience, Harry (our UK wine buyer) was keen to understand why he decided to leave it all behind, and start down the road of wine production.
He explains, "Simply, I just got fed up with corporate, so in 2018 we launched and I felt there wasn't enough of a focus on blended South African wine. This is something that I wanted to become known for and I took the inspiration for this through my love of Old World blended wines".
Fair enough! It's worth noting, that outside of the 'With Love from the Cape' range of wines (which we will get to in a sec), all of Ross' wines are blends - check out the Aquiver and Pandiculationon our website, amongst others... you're welcome.
Give the people what they want!
It didn't come at much of a surprise to us that Ross is pretty switched on when it comes to finding and crafting wines we all want to drink. It sounds a bit silly (because we all love wine right?), but being tuned into demand is not the easiest thing in the world, and producing wine that ticks the right boxes is certainly not easy. "I wanted to create wines that were crafted for the people, from by-the-glass restaurant options through to premium bottle only wines - all the while with a focus on being as food friendly as possible".
Ross looks for three things more than anything in his wines; fruit, freshness and aromatics. If you are reading this, then you don't need to look far to find these in his juice. The Rascallion range is a fantastic embodiment of purity and freshness. This is honest winemaking, with some pretty awesome labels and an ethos that puts the wine drinker (you and me) front and centre.
With Love From (and giving back to) The Cape
Rascallion's With Love from the Cape range is awesome - case closed.
No but really, aside from being wicked single variety expressions of their respective grape varieties, the With Love range has a far deeper meaning, purpose and importance. "We donate a percentage of our profits from this range to the Dignity Dreams charity that provides menstrual health and education to young women and girls in the local community". Seriously, if you didn't have enough reason to want to try the wines from Racallion, is there really anything better than cracking a bottle of With Love open, kicking back and know that in doing so, you are making the world a better place. Ross, we salute you, sir
"Lawrence of Arabia"
Go to wine, if any?
Tough to say... I love Spain. So Albariño and Rioja hold a special place in my heart. Naturally I love blended wines with lots of aromatics!
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