Words: Lucy Sarah O’Connell | Images: Hugatree Photography
Nestled in the greenery of Craighall and bordering the beautiful Delta Park, you’ll find the most unlikely little discovery: a winery.
The first of its kind in Joburg, Gerakaris Family Wines is the brainchild of Kath Gerakaris, a New Zealand-born winemaker with a passion for creating delicious wines.
After years of making a limited number of bottles in her garage, Kath made the move to find official premises for her winery at the end of 2017, and it’s been charming Joburgers ever since.
Tell us about your journey into making wine.
I did a postgraduate diploma in viticulture and winemaking, and I came to South Africa to work a six-week harvest at Thelema Mountain Vineyards in February 2003, then Flagstone. After that, I ended up staying in South Africa, as I got a job with Whalehaven, which was launching its Idiom wines at the time. I continued when I moved to Joburg by making barrels of wine in our garage for years! Then, when I found this place, we applied for a licence and I knew it was the perfect spot to start our family winery.
What kind of wines do you make here, and what’s the process?
The grapes are transported up to Joburg in temperature-controlled trucks, as we obviously can’t grow them here, but everything else happens here at Gerakaris. At the moment, we have four wines – our two Chenin Blancs, Elli and Ellaki, and our two Syrahs, Tom and Thomas. They’re named after my two children, Thomas and Elli.
What makes this a great place to spend a weekend?
Apart from actually making the wines here, we’re also open for tastings and we hire the winery out for functions. We serve small tapas, or you can walk next door to Delta Cafe for food, and we’ve found that it really is a fantastic place for the entire family to hang out – the adults can sit and taste the wines, it’s lovely and warm in our outdoor area and there are activities like pony rides for the kids! So, there’s something for everyone.
For more information on Gerakaris Family Wines, phone 072 638 7636 or visit their website.