| NIËL Groenewald | Managing Director: Nederburg Wines

“I love winemaking as much as I do the business of wine,” says Niël. Previously head winemaker for Distell with the immense responsibility of overseeing the production of South Africa’s largest wine portfolio, focusing on premium brands, he was appointed in his current role in early 2019. A marketing specialist in his own right, Niël assumed the head winemaker position at Distell in December 2017, after a 14-year tenure in a similar position at DGB-owned Bellingham. Before joining DGB in 2004, he worked stints at Neethlingshof and Seidelberg, as well as Perdeberg and Kango co-operative wineries. He obtained his MBA from the University of Cape Town, and a BSc Hons degree from the University of Stellenbosch. In addition to his winemaking credentials, Niël has extensive experience in leading top-performing teams, supply chain expertise and a strong marketing sensibility, honed over years through international exposure to South Africa’s key trading partners.

| Trizanne Barnard | Winemaker: Trizanne Signature Wines

Trizanne Barnard is a winemaker with an adventurous, wholesome spirit. After finishing school, Trizanne travelled and worked abroad. She studied BSc Viticulture and Oenology at Stellenbosch University, working at different wineries in her spare time. After graduating, she went overseas to work multiple vintages in Australia, France and Portugal. After working abroad for a few years, she returned to home ground and worked with Klein Constantia’s winemaking team for five years. She started the Anwilka winery for them and managed this for four years. This experience boosted her confidence as a winemaker to the point of going solo. In 2008, Trizanne started her own business: Trizanne Signature Wines Pty Ltd. To differentiate between regions and varietals, she chose to harvest her grapes from two very diverse wine regions, namely Elim and Swartland. She has subsequently grown her wine portfolio, specifically focusing on the cooler climates of South Africa’s wine regions. In 2012 Trizanne entered the bulk wine market and to date supplies more than 21 wines into the UK market. Here her main focus is to over-deliver on quality continuously and to change the face of the South African bulk wine market, proving it to be a worthy international contender. She has successfully managed an ultra-premium wine portfolio in the off-trade alongside her on-trade wine ranges.

| Adi Badenhorst | Winemaker: AA Badenhorst Family Wines

Andre Adriaan (Adi) Badenhorst grew up around the vineyards of Constantia and spent his time picking (stealing) grapes. “It all started when Jean Daneel, then winemaker at Buitenverwachting, let me make my first wine when I was thirteen,” Adi recalls. After completing his studies at Elsenburg Adi assisted with a few harvests at Chateau Angelus and Alain Graillot in France, and Wither Hills in New Zealand. He also worked stints at local cellars Simonsig, Steenberg and Groote Post before nine years as winemaker at the esteemed Stellenbosch estate, Rustenberg. In 2008 he bought a 60-hectare piece of land on the slopes of the Paardeberg with his cousin Hein. Inspired by the Swartland terroir and the old bush vines they slowly restored the neglected cellar (that had last been used for making wine in the 1930s) and today they practice biological farming and make natural wines in the traditional manner.

| Craig Wessels | Owner & Winemaker: Restless River Wines

Born and educated in Durban, Craig moved to Cape Town in 1994 where he founded a digital media company, Wicked Pixels, with offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg. In 2004 he left the city lights for a new life farming vineyards in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, where he and his wife, Anne, have been raising both vines and family since. Craig is a self-taught winemaker. In 2005 he set his sights on producing more refined, classic styled wines, and in 2012 the Restless River label was launched. Never shy to challenge convention, he initially raised many eyebrows in the area by harvesting earlier than others. Now on his 17th vintage, Craig has been the lone pioneer of Cabernet Sauvignon within an area best known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It was this new expression of South African Cabernet Sauvignon that placed Restless River under the international spotlight.

| Charles Back | Owner: Fairview & The Spice Route Winery

Charles Back II started farming at Fairview with his late father Cyril in 1978, upon completion of his oenological training at Elsenburg. In 1995, Charles Back II took over full responsibility for the farm upon his father’s passing. From the start, Charles wanted to do things differently – introducing Mediterranean grapes such as Viognier, Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Petite Sirah to the Cape. In 1998 Charles founded the Spice Route Winery just outside Malmesbury. This would prove to kick start the now infamous "Swartland Revolution". Under Charles' watchful eye, Fairview began to make artisanal cheese – a business that has gone on to become every bit as prestigious and successful as wine. In April 2006, South African WINE Magazine voted Back the second most influential person in the South African wine industry, after Nelson Mandela. In 2014, Charles received the International Wine Challenge Lifetime Achievement and in 2017 he was awarded the 1659 Wine Industry Medal of Honour for 2017, becoming the most awarded winemaker in South Africa. 2017 was also the year in which Charles received the coveted South African Farmer of the Year award. In his characteristic humility, he expresses “But I have barely begun to achieve what I want to achieve!”. Charles continues to be involved, hands-on, both at Fairview and Spice Route while also being involved in a number of socio-economic projects addressing issues in the surrounding communities.