Wild Cape in Focus: Meet Senior Winemaker Matt Byrne

Wild Cape in Focus: Meet Senior Winemaker Matt Byrne

Introducing Evans & Tate Senior Winemaker Matt Byrne and the winemaker behind the incredible Wild Cape wines. 

Matt has been at the helm of Evans & Tate for over two decades. He has worked around the world gaining invaluable winemaking experience in Koelenh, South Africa; Felton, California in the United States; and Margaret River and Mildura, at home in Australia. His passion for surfing, diving, fishing and wine brought him and his family to Margaret River, where they have lived since 2001. 

We speak to Matt about his love for Wild Cape and his passion for surfing and the South West coast. 

What does Wild Cape mean to you?

Andrew’s extraordinary images he captures simply stop you in your tracks – they’re a sensory overload in a good way. To make wine to have this same impact was my goal. Both elements I think are so effective in communicating what winemaking in Margaret River means to me – without saying a word!

How long have you been surfing for?

Since I was 8 along with my 2 brothers and a swag of mates.

How did you first get into surfing? 

My Dad was an excellent body surfer who took on some serious surf in the south-west as did a lot of his mates of the same era. My older brother, then me, and then my younger brother all followed along with our mates.

What do you love most about the South West coast?

The smell, the feel, the purity, the power. Challenge and reward. I could go on, but I won’t. It’s allure must be preserved as best we can by all those that live and visit here.

What do you think of each wine and what do you like about each of them?

Sauvignon Blanc: It’s purity and energy – this wine aligns great fruit from an excellent vintage to produce a Sauvignon Blanc wine in all its glory. Pungent and lifted with great flavour and salivating acidity. Super refreshing.

Chardonnay: It’s ability to show complexity, texture and fruit power without sacrificing freshness and an overall harmonious balance.

Cabernet Sauvignon: This Cabernet is such a delicious drink and even more so with the addition of a touch of Malbec at blending which really elevates this wine into something extra special. The flavour, perfume and effortless nature of its silken palate just floods the senses….

Did the ethos of Wild Cape have any influence over the winemaking decisions you made for these wines?

For sure. For me, Andrew’s images capture an intensity that’s palpable - rawness, purity and power. This was a winemaking ethos I had before I met Andrew so the synergy was great. At each step in growing and making these wines, I wanted to ensure the purity and intensity of flavour and freshness was maximised and then preserved – I am super happy with the result!  

How have you felt being able to combine wine and surfing with this new range?

Ha, never thought it would happen! Making a new wine is exciting enough (there’s always room for one more wine!) but to get some time in the water doing it is a bonus!


You can read more about the Wild Cape range here and be sure to shop the Wild Cape range online here

Plus, share your Evans & Tate Wild Cape moment and you could win a framed print by South West photographer Andrew Semark. Scan the QR code on your bottle and be in to win... your next adventure awaits.

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