Neethlingshof welcomes a newcomer to the team
Stellenbosch Wine Estate Neethlingshof has bolstered its award winning wine team under De Wet Viljoen with the appointment of a new assistant winemaker who brings fresh energy and experience. Jacobus van Zyl has worked at a number of South Africa’s most prominent wineries and completed a harvest in California’s famed Napa Valley.
“We required a young, dynamic and energetic person to pursue the quality, value and tradition for which Neethlingshof has become known over generations,” says winemaker De Wet Viljoen, who has been with the estate since 2003. “Jacobus is a perfect fit.”
In his new position, Van Zyl takes on responsibility for the day to day management of the winery in addition to assisting with the making of wine.
Appointed on October 1, he arrived from Rust en Vrede wine estate and has previously completed stints at various well-known wineries in the regions of Franschhoek, Wellington and Rawsonville.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to be part of a dynamic team that produces world class wines, while promoting the South African wine industry in general,” says van Zyl. “I am reminded again of a bottle of Neethlingshof 1984 Pinotage that we opened a while back and how we were delighted that it had retained its fresh fruitiness and character.”
“It is especially a privilege to join De Wet, someone who has made a big contribution to the industry and from whom I’m able to learn a lot. I look forward to good times,” he says.
Van Zyl graduated with a BSc in Agriculture (Viticulture and Oenology) from the University of Stellenbosch in 2012, following a passion for farming, and wine in particular, that began in his childhood.
He was raised on a farm in Rawsonville. “One of my favourite times was breakfast on the tractor during harvest with my dad; his sweet coffee and delicious scrambled egg sandwiches with tomato sauce. The tractors were loaded with grapes and I watched them off-load into the tanks. The smell of fermentation in the cellar was one I learnt to love back then.
He says wine was always part of his childhood home. “From a young age we were exposed to the culture of wine and how to enjoy it. The bug bit me and I never wanted to do anything else.”
Situated in one of South Africa’s premier wine growing regions, Neethlingshof has a history that dates back to 1705. Its progressive farming initiatives include BWI Champion status of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI), highlighting its commitment to eco-sustainability. A substantial portion of the 110 ha wine farm is set aside for conservation of indigenous fauna and flora.
This sensitivity is also present in its wines and Neethlingshof is a consistent winner at local and international competitions. Its premium reds are subtly oaked, showing softer tannins and greater harmony, while the Neethlingshof premium whites exhibit pure expression of fruit. They thrive in conditions that allow for slow ripening to the optimal natural development of flavours and aromas at the hands of consulting viticulturist Eben Archer and winemaker De Wet Viljoen.
For more information about Neethlingshof and its wines, visit www.neethlingshof.co.za, call 021 883 8988 or make contact on its Facebook page.