What was the defining moment in your life that set you on the path of becoming a winemaker?
Winemaking came naturally to me, as I grew up on a 5th generation wine farm in the beautiful Nuy Valley just outside Worcester.
Where did you train to become a winemaker?
I completed a course on Cellar Technology at Elsenburg and I did a couple of harvests in Washington State, USA and Rhein Hessen, Germany.
Who would you regard as your mentor?
Wilhelm Linde. He was the winemaker at Nuy Winery for more than 40 years and was always willing to help and give advice.
You work with a selection of some of the world’s most noble grape varieties. Is there one other variety with which you would really like to work?
During my experience in Germany, I worked with a couple varieties and enjoyed the fruity wines of Muller-Thurgau, which is an Austrian variety.
Is there another wine you would like to make in your cellar with the varieties available to you there?
We have done a 6-year barrel matured fortified Red Muscadel in 2009, which was launched in 2015. I would like to do that again soon!
You seem to be quite innovative with new wine styles – what leads you there?
I enjoy making wines that I enjoy drinking. I like a easy drinking style wine, with enough fruit, but also structured with aromatic building blocks which are obtained from terroir, lees maturation, different yeasts, varietal clones and root stocks and subtle oak integration when it comes to reds.
If you could choose anywhere in the world to make wine other than where you are now, where would it be?
I really enjoyed the American Northwest in Washington and Oregon. The people and there way of living is like what I enjoy and different than the rest of the USA.
And what grape type would you use?
Washington and Oregon are some of the regions in the world that does not have Phylloxera and vines are not grafted. They grow the majority the new world varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, etc., but I enjoyed their Cabernet Sauvignon very much!
I know it is a bit tricky asking a father to choose his favourite child, but which one of your wines is your current favourite?
The 2021 Sauvignon Blanc was released a month ago and I think this wine is exactly what I enjoy in a well-structured, fruit driven white wine.
Your greatest bottle of wine ever?
It was a bottle of 2001 Penfolds Shiraz that I drank in Germany in 2004 during my stay there.
What is your favourite style of food?
Anything spicy will do, but nothing beats a roasted leg of lamb, baked potatoes, rice, and gravy!
Your best style of restaurant, you enjoy visiting? Why?
I enjoyed Mexican Kitchen when they were still around a couple of years ago. Nowadays I enjoy the quality of dishes from the Hussar Grill.
Your ideal dinner party guest?
I would choose Chris Burgess, he is the current editor of Landbou Weekblad and there are lots of Agricultural topics I would love to discuss and debate about.
Your favourite holiday destination?
Buffelsbaai near Knysna and Blombos near Still Bay. We have been going there ever since I can remember.
What is on your bedside table as reading matter at the moment?
My Samsung Tablet and National Geographic. I am digitally subscribed to many newspapers and magazines. I don’t like to read novels and stories but enjoy reading shorter articles on things that interest me and to broaden my general knowledge.
One piece of music you would take with you to a desert island?
Sarah McLachlan and Queen.
I’m currently working on….
The idea of starting my studies at the USB in the degree MPhil in Future Studies.
My favourite weekend getaway is….
Any hunting destination with 5 off my closest group of friends.
Top Deck Chocolate with a hot cup of coffee.
One day, I will…. leave behind a legacy and business that will create opportunities for my children and their children and their children to come.
How can a visitor contact your winery?
Telephone 023 342 7025