THE FOUNDRY

The Foundry Wine Collection was established on a shoestring budget in 2001 by Chris Williams and his great friend James Reid. With plenty of blood, sweat and tears, developing The Foundry into a leading exponent of the New South Africa wine revolution, gaining numerous accolades and awards for their site specific, terroir defined wines.

The first vintage of The Foundry was vinified at the Myburghs of Joostenburg winery in Paarl. There was no room for our barrels in their barrel room, and so we were accommodated in the old blacksmiths’ workshop – and ‘The Foundry’ was born. 

 

Chris Williams narrowly escaped a legal career by following his passion for wine instead. He discovered an interest in wine while at UCT studying to be an attorney, and after graduation enrolled at Elsenburg Agricultural College to study viticulture and Enology.

In 1995 he worked as understudy winemaker to Giorgio Dall Cia at the iconic Meerlust Estate in Stellenbosch. His understanding of classic winemaking techniques and deep love for the Stellenbosch terroir developed under the guidance of Giorgio and Hannes Myburgh, owner of Meerlust.

 

In 1997 Chris spent a vintage in Bordeaux, based in Pomerol under the tutelage of rock-star winemaking consultant Michel Rolland, where his love for all things French, and the classic wine regions in particular, developed to an enduring obsession. After six wonderful vintages at Meerlust, Chris left to establish the South African operations of Boutinot LLC, a Manchester UK based wine company. In 2003 Chris spent one vintage at Delaire Vineyards whereupon he was lured back to Meerlust to become cellarmaster in charge of all wine production in 2004. After 16 years at Meerlust and multiple accolades and awards, Chris left Meerlust in December 2019 to establish a winery on shareholder James Reids’ Paardeberg and focus on The Foundry.