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Anthony Hamilton Russell
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Anthony is a man of many passions. He is the proprietor of Hamilton Russell Vineyards and Southern Right, a separate farm next to Hamilton Russell Vineyards. His name is synonymous with award winning wine, but what are his other passions?
“First and foremost, the ongoing improvement and beautification of my farms. This encompasses several of my different hobbies.”
With a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and his majors being zoology and genetics, his ornamental aloe garden with 45 different species, makes perfect sense.
Another passion is his vast collection of Stone Age tools. “They were found largely on this farm and range from the early to the late stone age, from approximately a million and a half to 500 years ago.” His collection is on record with the South African Heritage Resources Association, a government body controlling our precious Stone Age heritage.
“Obviously wine is a further passion. When you own a wine farm, you cannot divorce yourself from the product. You have to have a clear, controlling vision for the style of wine produced. Making wine is very much a team effort and involves everyone on the farm.” What would his advice to a prospective wine farm owner be? “It will end up costing you five times more than anticipated, you will work five times harder than anticipated, and remember, it is a marathon, not a sprint. Once you have your head above the trenches you cannot sit down, you have to keep running.”
In 1993 Anthony further developed a hobby. “I used an upside down car jack to press our first liter of olive oil.” In 1995 Hamilton Russell Vineyards had their first commercial release of olive oil and were the first wine producers to make an olive oil in the country. “It adds to the aesthetics of the property.”
He has been a very keen collector of art since the tender age of 18 and his main interest is collecting works of South African landscape artists. Each year Anthony hosts an exhibition for a different contemporary artist on the estate.
“When it comes to charitable work our main focus is underprivileged children’s pre-school education. We have a fulltime free pre-school on the farm with 30 pupils, one teacher and two assistants. Currently, only 13 children are from our farm, the rest are from farms in the area. It is crucial for children to have a good start at this critical stage and I support several charitable causes and fundraisers in this regard. Research has shown that good pre-schooling greatly increases the chances of academic success at a later stage”
In 2002, Southern Right donated R40 000 towards the upgrade of the unique Hermanus cliff path and the appointment of a warden to patrol and clear alien vegetation. Southern Right gives something towards whale conservation in the Walker Bay each year. It is Anthony’s belief that by ensuring and promoting high quality shore-based whale watching, the more disruptive and invasive boat-based whale watching will be kept to a minimum.
Anthony and Olive (whom he married in 2004) are both keen entertainers and Olive is a natural when it comes to entertaining the up to 200 visitors a month.
Anthony has 4 daughters from a previous marriage and when asked to quote on fatherhood: "Expensive!! - both in terms of time and money - but the returns measured in friendship and happiness pay back every minute and cent ten fold."
“I do believe Hamilton Russell Vineyards is a tremendous draw card to the area.” Tasting room statistics for the month of November proves this statement. More than 1300 Visitors came through their gates, of those only 200 were South Africans and the rest international tourists from 16 different countries. Hamilton Russell Vineyards pumps a surprising amount of money into the local economy, yet some residents in Hermanus are still unaware of its existence! May the ongoing beautification of this magnificent estate serve to inspire locals and tourists alike!
 

Rosy's Hemel & Aarde Wine Route



Tops at Eastcliff
251 Main Road
Tel:313 1095



 



Birkenhead Brewery
Stanford


 

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