After graduating from Stellenbosch University with a degree in viticulture and oenology, I worked multiple vintages in Australia, France and Portugal. I then returned to home ground and joined the winemaking team at Klein Constantia. In 2004 I was offered the opportunity of starting Anwilka wines in conjunction with Klein Constantia role-players and Bordeaux winemakers. The four invaluable years at Anwilka and my international experience gave me the confidence to start my own brand, and in 2008 I went solo. Since the very first vintage my focus has always been on two very diverse wine regions, namely Elim and the Swartland.
I currently live in Kommetjie, a quaint village on the Southern Peninsula, and make my wines just down the road in Noordhoek. Apart from everything wine-related: making, judging on various panels or just straightforward drinking, I also make time to surf whenever I get the opportunity. I feel that the ocean recharges me, and teaches one patience and respect for nature.
Creating a brand and establishing a business is never a solo game, and there are always a lot of players behind the scenes. My husband and life partner Malan is a pillar of strength and encouragement to whom I owe so much gratitude. Then my two beautiful boys also inspire me every day. Through their example I have learnt to enjoy life’s journey and to appreciate even the smallest things in life.
Our direction and endurance comes from our faith which makes the impossible possible.
I support the following epic organisation because I’m humbled by the people who dedicate their time selflessly in creating better lives for others… and this with the aid of surfing.
‘Put simply, Waves for Change aims to turn previously disused township beaches into hubs for skills training and social justice. We target communities and beaches with no history of ocean or surf culture and develop beachside safe hubs. We train local community members – the first surfers ever to emerge from their communities – to run these hubs and to use surfing to recruit the hardest-to-reach and most vulnerable youth in their communities into programmes that offer extra social, health and educational support…’
In the Swartland summers are hot and dry, with colder, wet winters. Viticulture is practised mostly under dry-land conditions, with minimal irrigation. This, coupled with the Mediterranean climate is ideal for Syrah and Grenache and produces low yields of small but intensely flavoured berries.
This area is further distinguished from other wine production regions by virtue of the variety of its soils such as granite, shale, clay, and slate, which lend great structure and diversity to wines grown here.
The Elim ward, situated on this peninsula, derives its name from the Moravian Mission Station in Elim – a quaint little town with thatched cottages, the heart of which is the Moravian church. The name Elim, meaning “place of God” originates from a biblical reference in Exodus 15:27. After crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites came to Elim, where they found twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and camped near the water.
The unique terroir of the Elim ward with its prevailing winds provides a very cool ripening season, ideal for Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.
The area has diverse soils ranging from sandstone, to cold laterite and broken shale, ensuring low yields and imparting minerality, depth and structure to the wines of this area. Elim forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, and is an environmentally sensitive area where wine production goes hand in hand with the protection of indigenous species. The area receives approximately 450mm of rainfall per annum and has predominant South Easterly winds in the summer and North Westerly winds during the winter months.
Why these regions:
By sourcing and selecting vineyard parcels from each of these areas, and pairing them with the most suitable varieties, I have produced four wines that embody the best of these unique and diverse regions.