In the spirit of National Women’s Day, we would like to take a moment to shine the limelight on the female winemakers who live and work throughout the Swartland. The following women have been doing their part to put the Swartland on the map as a wine region to be reckoned with:
Alecia Boshoff (Riebeek Cellars)
Alecia Boshoff started her career as assistant winemaker after completing her BSc (Agric) Viticulture and Oenology degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 2002. She gained valuable international winemaking skills during harvest in Australia, France and the USA. She joined Riebeek Cellars in 2004 as winemaker, primarily responsible for the red wines and was promoted to Production Manager in 2015. She regards herself as a student of the wine industry and completed the Program in Wine Management in 2008 and her MBA in 2015 at the University of Stellenbosch.
Alecia is married to Wilhelm (Bossie) Boshoff and the couple has three kids. Her passion for the Swartland, she is a born and bred Swartlander, can be seen in her dedication to the terroir and wines from the Swartland region. “At Riebeek Cellars we follow a tradition of uncomplicated simplicity,” explains Alecia. “At the end of the day, it’s all about respecting what we have, and being passionate and caring in what we do with it.”
Sheree Nothnagel (Wildehurst)
Wildehurst Wines is a boutique cellar in the small town of Koringberg, Swartland, South Africa. Joanne Hurst, the owner, planted a garden vineyard consisting of 90% Shiraz and 10% Viognier vines in 2006. In 2009 she produced her first wine, The Wildehurst Red, by co-fermenting the Shiraz and Viognier and aging the wine in French oak barrels for 18 months. At the end of 2013 the business grew to the point where it was necessary to appoint a full-time winemaker and with a degree in Oenology and Viticulture, and this is when Sheree Nothnagel joined the winemaking team. They believe in minimal intervention when it comes to winemaking.
Corrien Basson (Leeuwenkuil)
Corrien Basson worked as a winemaker in Europe, the US and Australia before returning to her home country to ply her craft at Leeuwenkuil. When she’s not making top-quality wine, this positive and inspiring mother of two loves to spend time with her family, enjoy a good book or sit back with a glass of ice-cold white wine on a sunny porch in Langebaan.
Jolandie Fouché (Kloovenburg)
Jolandie Fouché joined Kloovenburg in November 2014. Her arrival coincided with the launch of a new premium wine range and new plantings on the farm. “Jolandie grew up in the Swartland,” says Pieter Du Toit, Kloovenburg’s cellar master and viticulturist. “This gives her a real understanding of the culture and climate we seek to reflect in our wines.”
A graduate of the Elsenburg Institute for Agricultural Training, Fouché completed her Cellar Management degree and diploma in cellar technology. She gained international experience working at vineyards in South Australia and California, as well as at wine farms in Stellenbosch and Tulbagh as assistant winemaker before taking up the winemaker position at the Riebeek-Kasteel estate.
“There’s a really good vibe in the Swartland because of all the young passionate winemakers who are producing exciting wines,” says Jolandi. “We believe the wine is made in the vineyard, which is why we focus on terroir expression in each wine, with minimal intervention in the cellar to produce wines that are complex.”
Andrea Mullineux (Mullineux & Leeu)
Andrea developed her passion for wine at the family dinner table, growing up in San Francisco. After studying Viticulture and Oenology at UC Davis and completing a handful of harvests in the Napa Valley, Andrea worked in Stellenbosch, and then in Châteauneuf where, on the same trip, she met Chris at a wine festival in Champagne! Andrea’s love for South African wine (and Chris) brought her back to South Africa where they learned that their compatibility extended into the vineyards and cellar. In 2014 Andrea was invited to join the Cape Winemakers Guild and in 2016 she was awarded International Winemaker of the Year by Wine Enthusiast. When Andrea is not hard at work in the cellar, her creative energies flow into the kitchen where she loves cooking up a storm, glass of wine in hand.
We salute you! Keep up the good work and thank you for your invaluable contribution to the growth and development of the Santam Swartland Wine & Olive Route.