Paarl

Nederburg

Cellar Master

Lizelle Gerber

“For me, winemaking is about making the best wine in the appropriate style. To identify components that work well together is a challenge yet very insightful. And it’s great to be able to grow with your wine!”

Viticulturist

Bennie Liebenberg

"I am really glad about the role I can play in helping Nederburg maintain its status as one of South Africa's most awarded wineries. Everything starts with the fruit so that is where I try to have an impact, working to achieve vines in optimal balance, where all components are in an ideal ratio."

White winemaker

Elmarie Botes

“There’s nothing more exciting than seeing the first grapes come into the cellar. The anticipation is palpable and witnessing a wine evolve from soil to bottle is simply incredible!”

Red winemaker

Samuel Viljoen

In winemaking, you have to be very analytical but also learn to trust your intuition and your taste buds. You need structure but flexibility to work with as many as 23 different varieties at any given time.

A legacy

Wine-making philosophy

Nederburg’s viticulture and winemaking teams work to the mantra of innovation and discovery, with a deep-rooted belief that one can never stop learning or finding ways of doing things better. The cellar’s winemaking philosophy is based on a deep respect for the land, the people involved in the growing and maintaining of the vineyards, those in the cellar and, of course, wine lovers all over the world.

Cellar Master

Lizelle Gerber

In her heart, Lizelle Gerber, Nederburg’s new cellar-master, admits being a bit of an artist – loyal and determined, if not impatient at times, but always a winemaker. “Every vintage is different, which is why the job is never boring or uninteresting,” she says. “Every year brings the opportunity to create a new artwork with its own personality and charm.”

Lizelle obtained her degree in winemaking at the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute of Stellenbosch, following a one-year stint with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). Here she learned perseverance, persistence and precision, she says, elements that are serving her well in her current vocation.

She started her winemaking career in 1996 at Zevenwacht, but it was her tenure at Avontuur in the early 2000s that cemented her love for the vine.

In-between her time at these two estates, Lizelle spent a harvest season in the Alsace region of France where she gained important early exposure to the international wine industry. She was winemaker at DGB’s Bellingham from 2004 after which she joined Boschendal in August 2006, where she worked for over a decade as its dedicated Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) and white-wine maker.

In her new role, Lizelle oversees the production of Nederburg’s extensively awarded wine portfolio and serves as mentor to young winemaking protégé for Pongrácz, Andiswa Mapheleba, to fast-track her development as a specialist MCC winemaker.

Reflecting on her own personal development, Lizelle reckons a winemaker should be adaptable and innovative. “Changing trends and technologies keep us on our toes!” In winemaking, respect is important to her as it is across all aspects of her life. “This extends to the winemaking process and ingredients.” To her, every harvest has its challenges, which makes it an advantage to be able to receive wines from different areas and ensure consistency. Plus, the industry is at an exciting point, she says.

“The industry can be proud, especially when it comes to winemaking practices. Our quality equates with the best in the world. The diversity of origin gives us a unique advantage. I also believe that cool climate wines prepared in diverse, elegant styles have placed the industry on a higher level internationally.”

“For me, winemaking is about making the best wine in the appropriate style. To identify components that work well together is a challenge and very insightful. It’s great to be able to grow with your wine and to experience the dynamic of this living product. Eventually we all represent South Africa on the international wine platform. It is every winemaker’s pursuit to
make excellent wine.

“And we all have a unique style and personality – just like a painting.” Lizelle lives in Wellington with her partner and menagerie of animals including four dogs, two cats, two parrots and a number of Koi fish.

Viticulturist

Bennie Liebenberg

Bennie has a thing about numbers and, in addition to a BSc Agric in Viticulture and Oenology from the University of Stellenbosch, also holds a BCom degree.

Before a harvest begins, he has the layout of Nederburg’s farms in Paarl, Simondium, Groenekloof and Darling, as well as those of their suppliers across the Western Cape, mapped to memory. He finds the numbers – knowing which vines are planted where, at what altitudes, the density of the vine rows and the rootstocks – assist him in calculating the likely yields.

For the past 15 years he has worked with numerous wine growers and today oversees a vast and diverse array of vineyard blocks and varietals.

White winemaker

Elmarie Botes

Elmarie enjoys worthwhile challenges, nature that sustains us all and a really good wine. It’s no wonder she fell in love with winemaking whilst on a cellar tour as a young student. Born and raised in the Cape Winelands, she admires strong female figures in the wine industry who forged a path for women winemakers like herself. Under the tutelage of cellar master Andrea, Elmarie is motivated and driven to elevate Nederburg’s benchmark standard in winemaking.

Red winemaker

Samuel Viljoen

One of the newest additions to the team, Samuel is a winemaker of the highest calibre and complements the team under Andrea’s leadership. He studied Viticulture and Oenology at the University of Stellenbosch before working at a variety of farms around the world.

One of only a select few South African winemakers to have worked at Domain Serene, his international experience is evident in the Fairtrade-accredited wines he produces.