“1980 in Graaf Reinett, in the north of the Eastern Cape.”
Q Where did you study and what qualifications do you have ?
“I studied at University of Stellenbosch 1999 to 2002 and obtained a BSc in winemaking.”
Q Do you consider your approach to winemaking to be different to others ?
“Not really . I just love the ability that Fleur du Cap gives me to work with an extremely big range of regions and grape producers with their different vineyard blocks.”
Q How involved to you get in the vineyard ?
“Not nearly enough in the off-season, but during harvest I do regular visits to our reserve blocks and will not harvest before our team have tasted and made a call based on optimum ripeness in the vineyard itself.”
Q Do you have any varieties you prefer to work with ?
“I love working with Pinotage and Chenin Blanc.”
Q Have you been influenced by any particular winemaker or region ?
“I have a few people in the industry that I look up to. Charles Hopkins springs immediately to mind. Razvan Macici was a great influence. Most of my colleagues here at Distell are proper stand up winemakers and I love being on this journey with them.”
Q What would you consider your greatest achievement as a winemaker ?
With a big grin “When my wife and father-in-law tell me they love drinking a wine that I make. They started drinking long before I met them and know their wines very well.” And continues “Yes, I have won a few gold medals and trophies over the years, but it is the good feedback from our everyday drinkers that make me the happiest.”
Q What “secrets “ have you “developed “ that make your wines different to others ?
“I think it is the big number of “building blocks” we create during harvest . Using grapes from different regions , using different yeasts, barrels and a few other techniques that we have developed over the years that help a lot when we do the final blending of any given wine. “
Q. How important is modern winemaking equipment in your winemaking ?
“In large scale wine production there is a place for modern winemaking equipment, but when it comes to reserve wines , nothing holds up to good old basics. Attention to detail and patience can’t be replaced by machinery. “
Q. What of your history and the future ?
“Although born in Graaff Reinett I grew up in the Boland . Studied winemaking. Started winemaking at Nederburg in 2003 and moved to the Bergkelder in 2007. Here I have been part of the winemaking team responsible for a pretty big selection of well known wine brands including Fleur du Cap, Allesverloren, Jacobsdal, Lomond, Two Oceans , Drostdy Hof to name but a few ! I am EXTREMELY passionate about winemaking and love being involved in the process throughout the entire process. From grapes and building relationships with our wonderful farmers, working with a dedicated cellar team to standing in the front of a room filled with people, talking about the wine that I helped to make and getting them to taste. Hopefully our story gets them to taste the first bottle. The actual wine will make them buy the next pallet !!