“I was born in Montagu in the Klein Karoo on 1st March 1983.”
Q Where did you study ?
“I was fortunate to go to Elsenburg Agricultural college where I was successful in obtaining a Diploma in Viticulture and Cellar technology which is another way of saying Oenology.”
Q Do you consider your approach to winemaking to be different to others ?
“I wouldn’t say so, but I do trial a lot on experimental basis to find the sweet spot to express terroir as best as possible,”
Q How involved do you get in the vineyard ?
“Oh dear, not nearly as much as I want to, but it is very important and key to be involved as much as possible to produce wines in the style and quality wanted. At KWV we are lucky to have some truly expert viticulturists who are very good at what they do.”
Q Do you have any varieties you prefer to work with ?
“I have a lot of passion for white varieties. I spend a lot of time experimenting with techniques on different varieties and to determine the versatility of each and the different outcomes are very satisfactory.”
Q Have you been influenced by any particular winemaker or region ?
“When travelling in New Zealand , especially the Marlborough region, I became very fond of their white wines. The winemakers were very open with what they did but too many to single out any particular person.”
Q What would you consider your greatest achievement as a winemaker ?
“ To see how much the wine lovers enjoy my wine and have the stock totally sold out well before the next vintage.”
Q What “secrets” have you “developed” that make your wines different to others ?
In a humble manner. “I have no big secrets but try to be innovative in my winemaking and try all possible ways even if it sounds stupid ! You never know how a new idea will work out and , at the end, it could become a great success.”
Q How important is modern winemaking equipment in your winemaking ?
“We all know just how expensive modern winemaking equipment is. However, if it can work to it’s optimum it can have a very positive effect in terms of quality and also reduce losses. If a piece of equipment can enhance quality and minimise losses and through this generate payback, it is a must to have in the winery.”
Q How did you get interested in winemaking ?
Answer came with great enthusiasm. “I grew up on a wine farm and the best time of the year was during the harvest when I helped my father to transport the grapes to the winery. I was fascinated by the winery and all it’s machinery and the whole process of winemaking.” He continued with obvious enthusiasm. “I bombarded my father with questions and he encouraged me and he developed my great passion for winemaking.” And then “After school I was lucky to be accepted by Elsenberg to do my studies and then set off to gain experience locally and then overseas to New Zealand and California. “All of which has helped me enormously.”
Q What about the future ?
“I don’t see myself in any other business but the wine industry. If winemaking has flowed in your veins you will never get rid of it !” “Then I have a gorgeous wife and a beautiful 10 month old daughter to look after.”