I grew up living on various farms that produced wine grapes. In my primary school days we lived on a farm next to a winery. I guess this planted the seed for my love of wine!
Later on, my Dad started farming grapes and selling them off to a Co-op Winery. This is when I decided to go study Viticulture. The degree I did at University combined viticulture and wine. After learning more about wine, doing practicals and making experimental wine, I was then well and truly hooked.
What do I love about the job? Well, I love to create things and then see people enjoy it. The satisfaction of this makes all the effort worth the while.
Winemaking gives me an all round experience, with something new everyday. Your time is divided between office work (which is crap!), cellar work (which is great) and farm/vineyards (which is also great).
If any of them get under my skin, I move to the next one, and so on until I get everything done (or not as the case is sometimes...!).
There are of course a few other things which aren't so great about the job... snobbish wine critics and personalites for example! But without a doubt, the positives outweigh the negatives!
My top winemaking philosophies?
Smooth, drinkable, value for money South African Estate wines. Soft handling of grapes and gentle oaking preserves varietal character, focus on drinkability and elegance.