In Interview with a winemaker

Q.  When and where were you born ? 

“I was born in Durban, South Africa in 1985.”

Q.  Where did you study and what qualifications do you have ? 

“I studied winemaking and viticulture at Elsenburg Agricultural College, qualifying with a B.Agric Viticulture and Oenology in 2006.”

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

With a smile “That is a really subjective question.  I wouldn’t say that I am wildly different. I do like to experiment though, and that is where new and interesting discoveries are made. I also like to stay on the forefront when it comes to new technology. If I can implement something to make better wines, I’ll do it. “

Q. How involved do you get   in the vineyard ? 

“Getting involved with the vineyard and having a good synergy between viticulture and winemaking are imperative. The two go hand in hand. So many stylistic outcomes in wines rely heavily on practices that take place in the vineyard. That being said, I like to be very involved in the vineyard.”

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

“I am a big fan of both Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.”

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

“I wouldn’t say by a particular wine maker but I draw inspiration from other winemakers all the time, through general discussions and sharing of ideas.  It’s what makes the industry so great to be part of. I did two harvests in St. Emilion, France and that really did have a huge influence on me.”

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

“I have many achievements that I am incredibly proud of although winning the Trophy for the Best Shiraz at the International Wine and Spirit with my Eagle’s Nest Shiraz 2009 was a definite highlight.”

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

“I don’t suppose any really. I just do the basics as well as I can. “

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

“I have quite a modern cellar, and I am always looking for something that will assist me to make even better wines or even something new or different.  I believe that modern equipment and technology definitely play a role in making better wines. In the same breath, however, I am cautious not to take it too far, as it can sometimes lead to generic outcomes. It’s imperative to have a point of difference,”

Q. Anything else you would like to add ? 

“Following my studies, I joined Constantia Glen as an assistant winemaker. During my time there was when I journeyed to St Emilion to take part in two harvests. One at Chateau Bellefort Belclair and the other at Chateau Trianon. Where I obtained valuable experience. My first job as head winemaker was at Eagles Nest, where I was lucky enough to open their brand new winery.  I had an incredible ten harvests there and am proud to   have been part of growing the fledging winery into the incredible brand it is today.  While there I also explored the wine regions in Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland gaining knowledge and tasting extensively.”

Q. And now ? 

“In September 2017 I joined the winemaking team at Tokara on the Hellshoogte in Stellenbosch which is world renowned for consistently producing some of South Africa’s finest wines, It has been a fantastic start and I am thoroughly enjoy working with the full array of Bordeaux varieties in this ultra-modern winery.

Quick Message

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Start typing and press Enter to search