Meet Our Winemakers

UPINGTON

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 preferes 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.

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 preferes 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

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 in 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, 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 in 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, 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.

I like to spend time with friends and family, and I am always in the mood for a glass of wine or a braai. I also enjoy riding bikes, hunting, fishing and enjoying 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.

I like to spend time with friends and family, and I am always in the mood for a glass of wine or a braai. I also enjoy riding bikes, hunting, fishing and enjoying 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 think I’m good in blending

Since I am doing the secondary production (wine blending) the communication with the other departments is very important.

I like to spent time with my family and drinking a glass of wine. 

Philani Gumede
CELLAR MASTER

Since I am doing the secondary production (wine blending) the communication with the other departments is very important.

I like to spent time with my family and drinking a glass of wine. 

Favourite Cultivar? Sauvignon Blanc
Favourite Wine? Regopstaan Sauvignon Blanc & Lyra Vega
Which Wine Is Your Forte? I think I’m good in blending

KAKAMAS

George Kruger
CELLAR MASTER

Colombard and Sauvignon Blanc

Like to explore a lots of regions but the Hedgehog Colombard is one of the best

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.

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? Like to explore a lots of regions but the Hedgehog Colombard is one of the best
Which Wine Is Your Forte? Morio Muscat or Muscadel and I think we got the Colombard recipe as well

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.                                                                 

I think we got the recipe for Colombard, for a few years now, right here at Kakamas.

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.

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? I think we got the recipe for Colombard, for a few years now, right here at Kakamas.

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.

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

Willie Biggs
SENIOR WINEMAKER

Chenin Blanc & Sauvignon Blanc

Semillon Gehout & 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 as their sons.

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 as their sons.

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

GROOTDRINK

Mynhardt van der Merwe
SENIOR WINEMAKER

Green Sauvignon Blanc

A Skinny man with a mission. Over 15 years’ experience in wine production finally joined in 2014 Groblershoop Cellar, after moving down the River to Grootdrink Cellar in 2019 as Senior Winemaker. Enjoy mountain biking, hengel from a boat (you buy fish in a shop), good FOOD and fine WINE.

If I talk, it must be about wine…

Mynhardt van der Merwe
SENIOR WINEMAKER

A Skinny man with a mission. Over 15 years’ experience in wine production finally joined in 2014 Groblershoop Cellar, after moving down the River to Grootdrink Cellar in 2019 as Senior Winemaker. Enjoy mountain biking, hengel from a boat (you buy fish in a shop), good FOOD and fine WINE. If I talk, it must be about wine…

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