Get to know winemaker, Abraham de Villiers
How many years have you been in the wine industry?
I completed my Honours degree in winemaking in 2003 at Stellenbosch University and have been working in the wine industry since 2004.
Why did you decide to become a winemaker?
My grandfather owned a wine farm in Stellenbosch and my father is a viticulturist so I count myself lucky to have been brought up in a wine environment. I still fondly remember the times we drove with my grandfather with a full load of grapes to the winery. To me, it was the ultimate experience and a memory I will always cherish dearly. The progression to becoming a winemaker was natural and something that I felt very passionate about.
Your proudest moment while being a winemaker?
In 2017, we won the ABSA Top Ten Pinotage award for our Stellenbosch Vineyards Bushvine Pinotage. It was something that we had worked really hard for and it was great to be rewarded for our all our time and efforts.
Most memorable harvest and why?
I remember the 2015 vintage for its quality wines and the 2014 vintage just for its sheer size. It felt as if the grapes didn’t stop coming in and pushed our winery to its limit.
What stood out for you in the 2020 harvest?
This is our first normal harvest after the three-year drought in the Western Cape. The quality of the grapes looks very promising and the volumes are also back up to where it should be.
How do you relax in your off time?
I love spending time with my wife and three-year-old son, who I may add, is now at an age where he just loves everything his dad does.
What career would you have chosen, if not winemaking?
I have a keen interest in the business side of the wine industry so definitely something in that direction.
What is your favourite dish and what SV wine would you be enjoying with it?
One of my fondest memories is enjoying the Arniston Bay Sauvignon Blanc Semillon in Arniston on the beach with freshly caught crayfish on a perfect Autumn day. That was beyond sublime.
Do you prefer cork or screwcap?
I may be a little old fashioned so I prefer cork for my reds and screwcap for my whites.
What is your winemaking goal for the future?
The one great thing about winemaking is that you are always looking to the future knowing that the building blocks put in place now, will only be rewarded in the coming years. Ultimately I would like to create more memorable wines and continue to build successful brands for our industry.