Neil Ellis is one of the doyens of the South African wine industry. He has journeyed from pioneering négociant beginnings in the early 1980s, seeking out parcels of interesting vines to make exceptional wines under his own name, to a well-established family enterprise with a local and international reputation for exceptional elegance and quality. Today the journey of Neil Ellis Wines is not only about Neil Ellis. After 40 years of making wine, the next stage of the journey has begun with Neil’s son, Warren, sharing responsibilities as winemaker and viticulturist.
The newly launched Webb Ellis wine bridges their way going forward, embracing the past, the present and the future. The wine is symbolic of the sharing of know-ledge and wisdom from generation to generation, marrying traditional methods with new techniques and embodying a spirit of innovation, open-mindedness and joint respect.
The wine takes its name from the Ellis and Webb families: Neil’s wife Stephanie’s maiden name is Webb. It honours the journey of Neil Ellis Wines from a solo venture to a highly reputable family business. Stephanie is, and always has been, the pillar of strength in the background, and all three of Neil and Stephanie’s children play an important role in the business: Warren, who graduated in viticulture and oenology and has a MSc in viticulture, is responsible for the vines and winemaking, Charl heads the financial team, while Margot looks after the brand and marketing. Neil is the indispensable mentor, guiding career paths and ensuring that the family takes Neil Ellis Wines to the next level.
Back in the ’80s, Neil Ellis became the Cape’s first winemaker to make and sell wine under his own name. Pioneering a Burgundian approach in the Cape, he focused on producing the best wine possible in rented cellar space, selecting top-quality growers to produce his grapes. Mindful that no single vineyard can satisfy the needs of all grape varieties, Neil Ellis set out to identify sites where