black pearl

Black Pearl on the slopes of Paarl Mountain is one of those madcap outfits where brilliant wine is made for the love of it.

Our philosophy is that fine winemaking and conservation should co-exist.

Rhenosterkop Farm is a family run farm that houses Black Pearl Wines, Winelands Camping, and Rhenosterkop Nature Reserve.

Rhenosterkop Nature Reserve was set up in conjunction with Cape Nature to protect critically endangered renosterveld in the Cape Floral Kingdom. The vineyards are adjacent to the nature reserve and are farmed sustainably.

Grapes are also bought in from reputable growers in the area.

You are welcome to come and camp at our small campsite, hike our 5.5 km trail through the nature reserve, or jump on your mountain bike as The Paarl Adventure Trail also passes through Black Pearl.

Alternatively, make an appointment and have a laid back wine tasting with Mary-Lou at her boutique cellar.

The wine is handcrafted with minimal interference and focuses on quality rather than quantity.

These limited quantities allow us to remain diligent in the pursuit of wines of distinction.

Black Pearl Wines, Winelands Camping, and Rhenosterkop Nature Reserve

Mary-Lou Nash, Cape Wine Master

Owner, winemaker, viticulturist and “Jill of all trades” at Black Pearl Wines

I was born in Devon, England, raised in Fryeburg, Maine, graduated from University of New Hampshire, then spent the next few years teaching in Japan and travelling through Asia.

With only a backpack, I arrived in South Africa in 1995.

Before coming to South Africa my only wine experience was sailing off the coast of Maine with my Dad and drinking magnums of cheap Chilean wine in the evenings.

I was a beer drinker (and still am!) but my passion for wine started when I was thrown in the deep end of a first harvest of Chenin Blanc at the farm Rhenosterkop which my Dad had bought from a friend.

After that I told my Dad that if he paid for my food and drink, I would stay for one year and manage the place for him. That was decades ago, and the beginning of my passion for wine and my career as a self-taught grape grower and winemaker.

I received my Cape Wine Masters degree in 2011, along with the award for Excellence in Brandy. I have a judging certificate from The University of Stellenbosch, as well as The Michael Fridjhon Tasting Academy.

I judge at various wine competitions, and I am also a beer judge.

Mary-Lou Nash, Cape Wine Master
Black Pearl Winemaker

Although I like the monetary rewards and receiving accolades as a winemaker, my career highlight is more on choosing a way of life where every day is a learning curve.

The wine industry is forever growing and changing, and never boring. Now I just need to get my two daughters interested in wine!

To learn more about me and making wine in South Africa, please click here.