Jacques Viljoen, Cellar Master Boschendal
Raised in the Cape’s Winelands, his most memorable experience with wine was at the impressionable age of five during a pre-school outing to a wine cellar. After the winemaker handed out small cups of must (freshly crushed grape juice) to all the pupils, Jacques was enamoured: “It was a taste revelation. I recall the juice being so sweet and concentrated, and a very specific smell of fermentation esters floating in the air. It certainly triggered something in me,” he reflects. From there, the decision to become a winemaker came naturally. At 18, Jacques went on to study winemaking at Stellenbosch University.
Following a formative period in France where Jacques learnt his style that merges classic and modern techniques. On his return to South Africa he spent a further 16 years refining his winemaking skills before joining Boschendal. Based on his inherent love and respect of nature, Jacques endeavours to stay true to it. He is an expert in honouring terroir and the natural fruit to produce award-winning vintages. “Winemaking is like preparing a meal for someone. You know the effort that went into making it and it is rewarding to see your guests enjoy it,” explains Jacques. Jacques is particularly strategic in his response to tackling challenges of any sort, with an ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ perspective.
Ultimately, winemaking is a team sport, and for Jacques, it is about ensuring he is able to support every person and encourage their strengths in order to reap the best results – vintage after vintage.
Danielle Coetsee, White Wine Winemaker Boschendal
For a lucky few, there is a definitive moment when the world quietly slips away, and all that remains is an inspired instant between you and the wine that leaves you awestruck. For others, it’s a special memory that confirms your love for wine. For Danielle Coetsee, White Wine Winemaker at Boschendal, it was a combination of both.
At just 11 years old, Danielle’s uncle inspired her to be a winemaker with his tales of studying winemaking and viticulture from Elsenburg. Yet, it was not until Danielle’s first harvest and tasting through some particularly memorable wines that a deeper love for winemaking blossomed: “Reaping the reward after months of hard work is a profound moment for any winemaker. I’ve also been majorly influenced by some incredible wines I’ve had the privilege of trying, including a 2010 Chateau de Myrat Sauternes Grand Cru, a 2007 Costers del Siurana Priorat Miserere, a 2013 AA Badenhorst White Blend and of course, the 2008 Boschendal Jean Le Long”. While studying viticulture and oenology at Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute, Danielle had her first encounter with the camaraderie and openness that exists within the wine world. This spirit of community and willingness to share knowledge motivated her to continue along with her vocation.
Before Boschendal, Danielle was the winemaker and farm manager at a boutique winery for several years and it was during this formative time that Danielle cemented her approach to winemaking. “It may sound super cliche, but it still rings true – you need good grapes to make good wine. You can make bad wine from good grapes, but you cannot make good wine from bad grapes,” she explains. Beyond that, she believes that meticulous attention to detail and a “kick-ass palate” are cornerstones to sound winemaking.
Andiswa Mapheleba, Cap Classique Winemaker
Born in Tsolo, I spent my early childhood in the best of ways and the simplicity still brings back such fond memories. I moved to East London and did my schooling until my matric year. It was during this time when my interest in winemaking was piqued. Even though I had no clue what the industry entailed, I was drawn to this career and envisioned myself growing within it.
What had drawn me to winemaking is my love for science and art and the fact that I wanted to do something that was completely out of the ‘norm’. Since then, I’ve never looked back! It was a defining moment in my life and one that I am so grateful for.
I completed my BSc Agriculture: Viticulture and Oenology degree at Stellenbosch University followed by a master’s degree in Wine Biotechnology, specialising in wine sensory and consumer research. I started my first winemaking job at the end of 2018, and am now truly honoured and thrilled to have joined the Boschendal team, making one of the country’s most loved and accoladed ranges of Cap Classique.
In my day-to-day winemaking procedures, I constantly aim for quality by working with precision and passion – the ideals that are a necessity when making Cap Classique. As an individual, I always strive for simplicity and elegance in my craft. I am also a firm believer in personal development and have a passion for the enrichment of our senses holistically.
Heinie Nel, Viticulturist Boschendal
Heinie grew up on a farm where he developed a passion for viticulture at a young age. After he completed his studies in viticulture at Elsenburg, he started his career at Bosman Family Vineyards, where he had the privilege to expand his knowledge in viticulture for 9 years. In 2013 he started working at Perdeberg Cellar as a viticulturist, allowing him the opportunity to work with a diverse group of growers and terroir.
Over the years Heinie has performed extremely well as part of the wine team at Perdeberg where he also had to buy in grapes from different wine regions. Heinie understands the critical link between good grapes and wine and has a big passion for premium wine.
Working in nature has always been a humbling experience for Heinie and the best part of his job as a viticulturist. Heinie enjoys spending time at home with his wife, Marietjie, and their daughter, Mieke-Marè. When not at work or at home, you will find him in the mountains on a bike, hitting a few balls on the golf course or watching almost any kind of sport.
We are all very confident that Heinie will make a significant contribution to the business where he will work very closely with the winemakers, sales and marketing teams to help drive and add momentum to our premium and ultra-premium strategy.