“Upington on 31st January 1983.”
Q Where did you study and what qualifications have you got ?
“I studied at Elsenburg Agricultural College and obtained a Diploma in Oenology and Viticulture.”
Q How involved do you get in the vineyard ?
“I am fully involved in the vineyard management and this contributes immensely when it comes to harvest time, regarding the quality of each block, tank, batch etc. “
Q Do you consider your approach to winemaking to be different to others ?
A slightly hesitant answer “Yes and no. I’m open to experiment which we have done with the “Audacia No Sulphur Added Range” however I am very much focused on traditional cultivar specific qualities in our traditional style wines. “
Q Do you have any varieties you prefer to work with?
“Not really, but I do like the challenge that we have with Merlot in or area and South Africa in general.”
Q Have you been influenced by any particular winemaker or by a wine region ?
“No, not specifically, but I do believe that each harvest/vintage, locally and abroad, working with different winemakers helped me to form my own views and ultimately the style I pursue.”
Q What would you consider your greatest achievement as a winemaker ?
“To be able to produce a product that people enjoy year after year. “
Q What “secrets” have you “developed” that make your wines different to others ?
“We have being using Rooibos and Honey bush wood as natural preservatives since 2011, so we so we don’t use any SO2 in these wines. Recently we partnered with a pharmaceutical lab that extracts the polyphenols out of these woods to give us tannin that is very concentrated and high in very concentrated in natural anti-oxidants. The wooded wines used to have a distinct characteristic, but the new wines made with the tannins are just like any other traditional wines. “
Q How important is modern winemaking equipment in your winemaking ?
“It does not play a big part at all, the most modern piece of equipment we have is our second hand press. We spend most of our time in the vineyards with soil and canopy management to get the best grapes we can. That is where we gain most of our quality.”
Q. What else ?
“I grew up on a sheep farm in the Northern Capeso I have definitely felt at home with the lower water levels the past few years. I matriculated in Upington then after Elsenburg I did vintages in Australia, California and Italy before I came back to settle in South Africa. We have all manner of current challenges from climate to sales and as South African producers we will need to become more and more adept at sorting out the Challenges so as to still produce our superior products.”