I grew up in a small village called Tesselaarsdal, situated 24 km North East of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Hermanus, in the Overberg region. Tesselaarsdal has a unique history: in 1810, Johannes Tesselaar bequeathed his farmland to his servants and slaves. I named my wine Tesselaarsdal to honour that legacy.
I initially joined Hamilton Russell Vineyards in February 2001 as an au pair. I was 19. I soon moved to an administrative position on the estate, involved in the export, labelling and warehousing of its wines.
Experiencing so many aspects of the business, I became curious about winemaking, the delicate process from grape to bottle, the layered wine culture—living the excitement of each harvest.