Q. When and where were you born ?
“I was born in Bellville Cape Town on 29th November 1989.”
Q. Where did you study and what qualification do you have ?
“I did winemaking and viticulture at Elsenburg Agricultural College and qualified in 2012.”
Q. Do you consider your winemaking to be different to others ?
A very positive answer. “Yes, I believe each winemaker has a unique approach to winemaking because we were all influenced and inspired by wines, cellars and winemakers, and educational institutions at different times. Techniques are changing , products are changing and don’t forget our climate is changing.”
Q. How involved do you get in the vineyard ?
“Very involved but not nearly as much as I want to. I am in the vineyards every day. I have a very good relationship with our farm manager and our farm workers. It is important to be involved in every decision and to physically work with your vines in order to manage your wine.”
Q. Do you have any varieties you prefer to work with ?
“Yes I do, but I also prefer to work with other varieties depending on which areas they come from. I work mostly with Sauvignon Blanc, I respect the variety and wouldn’t be where I am if I didn’t enjoy working with it.”.
Q. Have you been influenced by any particular winemaker or region ?
“Yes, seeing that I work with Sauvignon Blanc, I would say Sancerre has had a great impact.”
Q. What would you consider your greatest achievement as a winemaker ?
“Gaining the trust of my team.”
Q. What “secrets” have you “developed” that make your wines different to others ?
“At Cape Point Vineyards We focus on two varieties, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. We have a unique terroir , it is cool and windy and our vines are very close to the ocean and this makes our wines different . It is no secret that we use the two varieties together.”
Q. How important is modern winemaking equipment in your winemaking ?
“It is very important. We work with Sauvignon Blanc and it is a time sensitive grape, so we need to work quickly. We don’t have fancy set up , we just have equipment that will help us express the best qualities in our wines.”
Q. You mentioned that Sancerre was influential in your development. How did that happen ?
“I completed my degree at Elsenburg in 2012 and travelled with a few classmates through Burgundy, Loire, Sancerre, Champagne and Germany. It was an educational trip to taste and experience international wines. I have been back to Sancerre on a more focussed trip visiting various producers.”
Q. What other wineries have you worked at ?
“On returning from Europe I worked at Piekenierskloof and the in Stellenbosch before joining Cape Point Vineyards in 2014. As for the future I would love to continue my studies in wine and taste as many wines as possible. However I need to earn an income. The studies and experience will come.”
The 2018 harvest is out. It was comprised of sweat, tears, hard work and promises good quality wines. Winemakers can enter their best young wines to participate in the Young Wine Show. As winemakers taste and filter through their young wines, they might even discover a South African Champion.
This prestigious event and show dates back to 1833. South African wine making regions like Robertson, Worcester, Stellenbosch, Paarl, Oranje-Vaal, Olifants River, Swartland and Little Karoo are allowed to enter their wines in the competition.
Each year Agri Expo, the host and sponsors of this event, invites students from the university of Stellenbosch to attend not only the wine tasting of the best young wines but also the prize-giving gala event. The event took place on the 25th of August and I was one of the lucky nine students that got invited to attend.
I knew it was time to prepare my palate for some good wines and to put on my best dress and heels. For weeks my class mates and I waited for the event to come with childlike excitement. Finally, the event was about to start and exceeded my wildest expectations within the first five minutes.
We arrived, humble and excited at the Town Hall in Stellenbosch and found ourselves seated amongst the most respected winemakers and connoisseurs in South Africa. We enjoyed some of the best wines and the most exquisite gourmet meal. It was magical.
By the end of the night, just before dessert, winners were announced. Judges were tasked to taste 1 680 different wines, out of which 165 titles were chosen, including SA Champion wines, class winners and gold medals. Wellington wines’ wooded Pinotage claimed the General Smuts trophy and is thus the best young South African wine of the 2018 harvest. Orange River cellars’ Keimoes received the highest points for all five their wines entered and walked away with the Pietman Hugo Trophy.
South African Champion trophies were awarded to farms like Bon Courage for their Natural Sweet white wine as well as their Noble late harvest. De Wetshof Chardonnay, Spier wines’ wooded Chenin Blanc and La Motte’s Semillion were the white wine champions.
Young red wine champions of 2018 were all wooded wines and included wines from Babylonstoren Stellenbosch Hills, Darling Cellars, Le Bonheur Estate and KWV.
Needless to say, dessert was delicious. The evening ended with inspirational speeches and a good shuffle on the dance floor. The 2018 BSc Viticulture and Oenology class left the event feeling enriched, inspired and excited for their futures in the industry. It was good to see that it’s not all just gumboots and stained hands, but also glamorous and enriching.
I am proud to be part of such an industry where farms all receive an equal chance to showcase the fruits of their hard labour. It is no secret that the 2018 harvest was a challenging one, but good faith and perseverance turned this harvest into a championship harvest. The Young Wine show of 2018 was truly an unforgettable event.