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Elmarie Botes joins Nederburg winemaking team


Elmarie Botes is the newest member of the Nederburg winemaking team.

Born and raised in Cape Winelands, Elmarie, 31, honed her winemaking skills at Kanonkop and Steenberg, among others wineries, before landing the plum Nederburg appointment.

“I have big boots to fill, having to match and continue the immense standard in winemaking so firmly in place at Nederburg,” she says.

Elmarie will be working alongside cellar-master Andrea Freeborough, red-wine maker Samuel Viljoen, as well as assistant white- and red-wine makers Chandré Petersen and Heinrich Kulsen.

“There’s nothing more exciting than seeing the first grapes come into the cellar for a new vintage of wine to be made. The anticipation is palpable. And seeing a wine evolve from soil to bottle is just incredible!"

“I’m cautiously excited about what the 2018 harvest will deliver in eventual wine quality, despite challenges mainly presented by the ongoing drought. Yet, every vintage comes with its own unique set of problems requiring solutions – and that’s something I welcome. I find the uncertainty strangely invigorating. It’s literally like a thirst for discovery and knowing more.”

Showing great promise, in 2011 she was chosen to complete a three-year internship with the Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) as part of its Protégé Programme. “I was privileged to work alongside exceptional winemakers and had the opportunity to taste some remarkable local and international wines.”

The 43 Bush Pinotage is the name of the wine she made during her time as a protégé – the first wine she could call her own, and a highlight of her career thus far.

“I loved making this wine! It provided me with the opportunity to handle every step of the winemaking process myself, from sampling and picking of the grapes to receiving it in the cellar and processing it, punch-downs, bottling, and labelling. This gave me a real appreciation for the role that each and every person in the vineyard and the cellar plays in the process.”

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