Clayton read for a B.Sc Agriculture in Oenology and Viticulture at the University of Stellenbosch from 2000 - 2004.
He completed his first harvest at Grande Provence, in Franschhoek, in 2003. In 2005 he worked in the red wine primary production cellar at Adam Tas, Distell. Later that year he travelled to Bordeaux, France, and spent his time working as the cellar assistant for Chateau de Fleur du Bouard (in Lalande Pomerol). He then returned to South Africa, in 2006, to work at Laroche – Lavenir in Stellenbosch for the duration of the 2006 harvest. In the latter half of the year he travelled to Germany to work harvest along the Mosel River (in Zell). He began the 2007 season at Vrede en Lust where he worked until employment at Môreson in May of 2007.
The unique nature of Môreson’s grape origin means that, as a winemaker, Clayton gets to indulge his passion - producing terroir specific wines.
As a farm Môreson focuses on growing and producing spectacular Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. High quality red grapes are sourced from the Coastal Region.
With the Môreson white wines Clayton looks for a complete intrinsic varietal explosion of cultivar character. Maximising the layered textures of the body (of the wine) to increase the tactile/mouth-feel sensation. In the Môreson range there is focus on well integrated wooded white wines with the award-winning Môreson Premium Chardonnay and - the more recent - Môreson Barrel-Fermented Chenin Blanc both showcasing this beautifully.
The Môreson Méthode Cap Classiques – made in the traditional manner – aims to be as impressive as their French Champagne counterparts while still showcasing unique South African elements. Here Clayton focuses on producing three very different but equally impressive cap classiques. The Môreson Méthode Cap Classiques are primarily Chardonnay based – which is a varietal Môreson specialises in.
The Môreson red wines are very fruit expressive with an elegant, textured boldness on the palate; these wines are best described as balanced. He holds great respect for traditional old world wine countries (like France) and incorporates some of this tradition into the Môreson wines. This is especially true for those that are destined for further maturing.
Where to from here?
Môreson has spectacular wines that will always be the benchmark and will always be produced. Clayton is, however, also interested in challenging the usual trends and breaking past the norm when it comes to the production of unique cultivars. Cultivars like Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and other unique blends are some of the varietals he’s presently experimenting with. Ideally Clayton, and Môreson, would like to see the advancement (and acceptance) of a new South African blend. One that isn’t a Bordeaux, Rhone or Cape blend and - if all goes according to plan - this will be a wine produced by Môreson and Clayton Reabow.