Zorgvliet Winemaker since 2013

I grew up in Cape Town and attended Jan van Riebeeck High in Gardens and then studied at The University of Stellenbosch where I obtained a B.Sc. degree in agricultural majoring in Oenology and Viticulture (2000).

My wine travelling experiences include two harvests in California in 2001 and 2002 and another study trip in 2007, visiting some of the top estates and winemakers in California. In 2011 I travelled to Burgundy and the Rhone valley to acquire more winemaking insight.

In 2010 I completed a post-graduate diploma course in wine-business management at UCT to further supplement my technical training and I attended Michael Fridjhon’s wine judging academy which I passed with distinction. Following on that I have acted as an associate judge on both Old Mutual Wine challenge and Wine Magazine red Bordeaux panels.

Starting my winemaking career in 2001, I have been influenced by various styles of winemaking and management. I have also been fortunate to work with leading winemakers Frans Smit (Spier – 1999), Kevin Grant (Hamilton Russell 2003-2004), Bruce Jack (Flagstone 2001-2002), Bo Barrett (Ch. Montelena-California 2002), Miles Mossop (Tokara 2005) and Zelma Long (Vilafonte’ 2005-2010).

Working at Hamilton Russell (assistant winemaker 2003-2004) taught me skills in the production of Pinotage/Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot noir/Chardonnay and to have a respect for purity and austerity in wines. I also gained experience with these wines while working at Tokara (2005) and at California’s Chateau Montelena (2002).

My focus as Vilafonte’ Winemaker (2005-2010) was on the production of icon wines for the luxury wine market segment. The winemaking principals learned were invaluable in shaping my future as a Bordeaux style specialist winemaker. In addition, under the tutorship and supervision of Zelma Long I’ve come to respect and understand various wine styles and winemaking methods.

During my 3-year stint at Noble Hill Vineyards in Simonsberg-Paarl I was responsible for both the winemaking and vineyard management, allowing me complete control of the production process. I produced both Rhone-style and Bordeaux-style reds and whites, Rose’ and Methode Cap Classique wines.

Since November 2013 I have been making wine at Zorgvliet. The Banghoek terroir is the coolest of the Bordeaux cultivar estates I’ve worked at and I believe are well suited to making restrained and elegantly styled wines.

I believe strongly in a vineyard-oriented winemaking focus. Wines are truly made in the vineyard and like the winemakers of old, modern winemakers are increasingly making wines thought critical design, planning and involvement in vineyards.

In my spare time I enjoy strumming my guitar, surfing, playing cricket, sailing, playing with my 2 boys and sipping great wine at sundown with my wife.