In Interview with a winemaker

Q. When and where were  you born ? 

“ I was born in 1991 in George in the Southern Cape. Not quite in winemaking territory.”

Q. Where did you study and what qualification have you got ? 

“I studied at the University of Stellenbosch where I achieved a BSc Viticulture and Oenology degree.”

Q. Do you consider your winemaking approach to winemaking to be different to others ?

“No. I use what I was taught and have learned since then in various cellars. All well tried   good winemaking practices.”

Q. How involved do you get in the Vineyard ? 

“I try to spend as much time as I possibly can in amongst the vines as that is where a great wine begins. “

Q. Do you have any varieties you prefer to work with ? 

“I have cabernet sauvignon at top of my list but Sauvignon blanc and Chenin blanc are about tie for top with cabernet. However I find all our varieties  a joy to work with , because  each varietal is unique in it’s own way.”

Q. Have you been influenced by any particular winemaker or wine region ? 

“Abrie Beeselaar and Jose Conde , with their out of the box thinking have been a great influence. I found my visit to Burgundy to be a region  so very inspiring just to see the passion and love they have for their wine.”

Q. What would you consider your greatest achievement as a winemaker ?

“Inspiring others to follow their passion and work hard in what they love. We as winemakers will always  be in search of making the perfect wine, so when the day arrives (if it arrives) I will re-answer the question !”

Q. What “secrets”  have you “developed “  that make your wines different  to others ?

“No secrets  but follow your gut and always be in sync with Mother Nature.”

Q. How important  is modern winemaking  equipment  in your winemaking ?

I’ll  try to utilise it as a tool in the winemaking process to enhance the quality that nature gives us, but I strongly believe in the grape doing it’s natural thing.”

Q. What has been your history to get you to where you are ?

“I started my first harvest at Uitkyk wine estate, as an intern during  my final year of studies at University of Stellenbosch. The year after  I became a Capewinemaker Protégé, where I started at Kanonkop, under the guidance of Abre Beeselaar. I moved to Ntida wine estate in my second year, to learn more about cool climate winemaking.  In that year I was lucky  to do a harvest in Burgundy, where I finally fell in love with wine  and where that passion still drives me to this day. With all this experience I was taken on by Starke Conde where I have been given the opportunity to put it all into practice.  I sincerely believe that life set me up to get to where I am and to be working with the varieties I love.”

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