Ònoma Private Cellar is a family owned and operated boutique winery nestled at the foot of the Stellenbosch Hills on Felicia Farm. The farm was purchased by the Yiannakis family in 1999 and in the years that followed, Com Yiannakis produced excellent quality grapes which were sold on to the larger estates in the area. With farming in their blood, the farm was intended as a retirement lifestyle project for the family. Sadly, Com Yiannakis passed away before the family could realise their dream of creating their own private wine label. His son Blaise who has a law degree under his belt, ex art and diamond dealer aptly selected the wines which were maturing in barrel at the time of his father’s passing to be Ònoma Private Cellar’s hallmark release. His brief to Ònoma’s winemaker, Matthew van Heerden, was to create classic wines in the Greek winemaking tradition: “Simply put, we wanted Ònoma Private Cellar wines to be made with no elaborate fuss, allowing the quality of the grapes to shine through. Our winemaker executed this brilliantly. We are very proud that we have not compromised quality in search of profit.”
This is evidenced in the number of accolades already racked up by their wines in only four short years since release:
- Syrah 2021 was awarded a Double Gold – Michelangelo Wine Awards 2022
- Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 has a 4.5-star Platter 2022rating and was awarded Gold in the Michelangelo Wine Awards 2021
- Chardonnay 2018 boasts a 4-star Platter 2021
- Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 has earned a 4-star Platter 2022 and Gold in the Michelangelo Wine Awards 2021
- Ònoma 2016 Chardonnay was awarded Double Gold in the Michelangelo Wine Awards 2019
You don’t need to be a vinophile to know when you’re tasting a great wine, yet there is something special about knowing that you are the first to experience a particular wine. Onoma Private Cellar recently held an exclusive food and wine pairing event at the Arbour Cafe Countryard in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Miziziyangu had one question to ask Blaise.
MM: What are the future plans for the brand?
BY: As an exclusive, premiere boutique wine farm which is relatively young, the goal is to bring the right people into the Ònoma Private Cellar fold, people who share in the same vision. Our approach means we are under no pressure to produce wine to cover the operating costs of the farm, therefore we are afforded the luxury of selecting the best vintages from which to produce wine and limit our production. We are in the process of developing a winery with a bespoke wine blending offering which we believe will be industry disruptive. We will offer visitors the opportunity to become immersed in the wine making process and ultimately blend their own unique wine which will be bottled and labelled exclusively for them.