Meet Our Winemakers

UPINGTON

Johan Esterhuizen
CELLAR MASTER

Muratie Merlot

With more than 20 years of experience in winemaking, Johan is responsible for the preparation and bottling of 90% of the wines for packaged product.

He is a healthy, hardworking and calm / peaceful person who likes to read suspense stories after hours. He prefers books over movies. He loves to relax with something in a glass while watching the Kalahari sunset. He also enjoys camping with his caravan along the banks of the Orange River and working in the garden.

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Johan Esterhuizen
CELLAR MASTER

With more than 20 years of experience in winemaking, Johan is responsible for the preparation and bottling of 90% of the wines for packaged product.

He is a healthy, hardworking and calm / peaceful person who likes to read suspense stories after hours. He prefers books over movies. He loves to relax with something in a glass while watching the Kalahari sunset. He also enjoys camping with his caravan along the banks of the Orange River and working in the garden.

Favourite Cultivar? Shiraz
Favourite Wine? Murati Merlot
Which Wine Is Your Forte? Red Jerepigo

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Frikkie Du Plessis
JUNIOR WINEMAKER

Waterkloof Circle of Life White

A small fish in a big pond, Frikkie is one of the newer additions to the Winemaking team, with his maiden harvest done as winemaker at Upington Cellar in 2021.

In his spare time, Frikkie drinks wine, talks about wine, and watches videos, about … well, wine. Occasionally you could catch him making music, usually around friends or his cat, and yes, with a glass of wine.

Frikkie Du Plessis
JUNIOR WINEMAKER

A small fish in a big pond, Frikkie is one of the newer additions to the Winemaking team, with his maiden harvest done as winemaker at Upington Cellar in 2021.

In his spare time, Frikkie drinks wine, talks about wine, and watches videos, about … well, wine. Occasionally you could catch him making music, usually around friends or his cat, and yes, with a glass of wine.

Favourite Cultivar? Semillon
Favourite Wine? Waterkloof Circle of Life White
Which Wine Is Your Forte? Shiraz

Cobus Kruger
JUNIOR WINEMAKER

Chateau D’yquem -2017 Ygrec

Would like to spesialize in fortifieds and the blending of brandy

The newest addition to the winemaking family is Cobus Kruger with his trusty cap and his will to take on the day.

He likes to spend time with friends and family, and he is always in the mood for a glass of wine or a braai. He also enjoys riding bikes, hunting, fishing and appreciates the beauty of nature (with a glass of wine).

Cobus Kruger
JUNIOR WINEMAKER

The newest addition to the winemaking family is Cobus Kruger with his trusty cap and his will to take on the day.

He likes to spend time with friends and family, and he is always in the mood for a glass of wine or a braai. He also enjoys riding bikes, hunting, fishing and appreciates the beauty of nature (with a glass of wine).

Favourite Cultivar? Chenel
Favourite Wine? Chateau D’yquem -2017 Ygrec
Which Wine Is Your Forte? Would like to spesialize in Fortifieds and the blending of brandy

Philani Gumede
CELLAR MASTER

Sauvignon Blanc

Regopstaan Sauvignon Blanc & Lyra Vega

I believe I am a very skilled blender of wines

Since he is involved in Secondary Production (wine blending), communicating with other departments are vitally important and something he enjoys.

He likes to spent time with my his family and drinking a glass of wine.

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Philani Gumede
CELLAR MASTER

Since he is involved in Secondary Production (wine blending), communicating with other departments are vitally important and something he enjoys.

He likes to spent time with my his family and drinking a glass of wine

Favourite Cultivar? Sauvignon Blanc
Favourite Wine? Regopstaan Sauvignon Blanc & Lyra Vega
Which Wine Is Your Forte? I believe I am a very skilled blender of wines
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KAKAMAS

George Kruger
CELLAR MASTER

Colombard and Sauvignon Blanc

Likes to explore different regions but his favourite wine by far is the Hedgehog Colombard.

Morio Muscat or Muscadel and I think we got the Colombard recipe as well

George has more than 25 years’ experience in wine making and cellar management.

He believes that communication, teamwork and having a close relationship with his staff is key to success. He loves spending time outdoors, especially hunting and farming.

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George Kruger
CELLAR MASTER

George has more than 25 years’ experience in wine making and cellar management.

He believes that communication, teamwork and having a close relationship with his staff is key to success. He loves spending time outdoors especially hunting and farming.

Favourite Cultivar? Colombard & Sauvignon Blanc
Favourite Wine? Likes to explore different regions but his favourite wine by far is the Hedgehog Colombard
Which Wine Is Your Forte? Morio Muscat or Muscadel and I think we got the Colombard recipe as well

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Marko Pentz
SENIOR WINEMAKER

White – Colombard & Sauvignon Blanc

Red – Shiraz & Malbec

This is a very long list with lots of different cellars and wines. Of our own series it is The Hedgehog Colombard, Regopstaan Sauvignon Blanc / Colombard, Lyra Vega and The Hedgehog Ruby Cabernet. 

Marko claims Colombard as his forte.

Marko is our senior winemaker at Kakamas cellar and has more than 10 years’ experience in wine production.

He is very passionate about wine and exploring different wine regions. He loves the outdoors, sport and socializing with friends and family.

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Marko Pentz
SENIOR WINEMAKER

Marko is our senior winemaker at Kakamas cellar and has more than 10 years’ experience in wine production.

He is very passionate about wine and exploring different wine regions. He loves the outdoors, sport and socializing with friends and family.

Favourite Cultivar? White – Colombard & Sauvignon Blanc | Red – Shiraz & Malbec
Favourite Wine? This is a very long list with lots of different cellars and wines. Of our own series it is The Hedgehog Colombard, Regopstaan Sauvignon blanc / Colombard, Lyra Vega and The Hedgehog Ruby Cabernet.
Which Wine Is Your Forte? Marko claims Colombard as his forte.

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KEIMOES

Johan Dippenaar Mosdop
CELLAR MASTER

Colombard and Sauvignon Blanc

Omstaan Colombard & Omstaan Sauvignon Blanc

Red & White Muscadel and Straw wine

Mosdop as everyone knows him is a manager who leads by example. He is hardworking and always makes time for his staff.

He likes everything outdoors, golf, hunting, fishing and hanging out with good friends. He does not like reading at all.

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Johan Dippenaar Mosdop
CELLAR MASTER

Mosdop, as everyone knows him is a manager who leads by example. He is hardworking and always makes time for his staff.

He likes everything outdoors, golf, hunting, fishing and hanging out with good friends. He does not like reading at all.

Favourite Cultivar? Colombard & Sauvignon Blanc
Favourite Wine? Omstaan Colombard & Omstaan Sauvignon Blanc
Which Wine Is Your Forte? Red & White Muscadel and Straw wine
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Willie Biggs
SENIOR WINEMAKER

Chenin Blanc & Sauvignon Blanc

Semillon Wooded & Omstaan Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc

Willie is the quiet humble winemaker with a soft heart. He is a family man and likes to do sports and fishing with his sons. He and his wife like to cook together and spend time together with their sons

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Willie Biggs
SENIOR WINEMAKER

Willie is the quiet humble winemaker with a soft heart. He is a family man and likes to do sports and fishing with his sons. He and his wife like to cook together and spend time together with their sons.

Favourite Cultivar? Chenin Blanc & Sauvignon Blanc
Favourite Wine? Semillon Gehout & Omstaan Sauvignon Blanc
Which Wine Is Your Forte? Sauvignon Blanc
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GROOTDRINK

Mynhardt van der Merwe
SENIOR WINEMAKER

Green Sauvignon Blanc

A Skinny man on a mission. With over 15 years’ experience in wine production, he finally joined Groblershoop Cellar, after moving down the river to Grootdrink Cellar in 2019 as Senior Winemaker. He enjoys mountain biking, angling from a boat (you buy fish in a shop), good FOOD and fine WINE.

If  he talks, it must be about wine…

As a wine company, we place a paramount value on relationships. Our relationship with our employees is something we continuously aspire to nurture and grow. Our wines are as much a product of our people as our pristine environment, after all. Friendly faces are synonymous with our region, and we’d like you to meet ours!

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Mynhardt van der Merwe
SENIOR WINEMAKER

A Skinny man on a mission. With over 15 years’ experience in wine production, he finally joined Groblershoop Cellar, after moving down the river to Grootdrink Cellar in 2019 as Senior Winemaker. He enjoys mountain biking, angling from a boat (you buy fish in a shop), good FOOD and fine WINE.

If  he talks, it must be about wine…

As a wine company, we place a paramount value on relationships. Our relationship with our employees is something we continuously aspire to nurture and grow. Our wines are as much a product of our people as our pristine environment, after all. Friendly faces are synonymous with our region, and we’d like you to meet ours!

Favourite Cultivar? Shiraz
Favourite Wine? Green Sauvignon Blanc
Which Wine Is Your Forte? Pinotage

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