Since my son does not seem to have any intentions of writing about himself, let me, his mother, introduce him to you:
When he was little he didn't enjoy writing either, rather declaring he did not need to learn how to read and write, because he was anyway going to become a farmer.
Mother coaxed him into going to school, first Rhenish Primary, then Paul Roos in Stellenbosch and then we had the same discussion all over:
His argument: "why go to University, if I want to become a farmer, the job is right here waiting for me".
Mother explained that the son of a medical doctor could not just walk in and take over the practice without having studied medicine either.
Father said: "you only have a job on the farm when you come home with a degree in viticulture and oenology."
So off to Stellenbosch University, and he enjoyed those years playing rugby and living at Eendracht so much, he decided to add another year and complete his degree in 5 (rather than 4) years.
Still father wasn't satisfied and the goal post was set higher:
"First you have to work under other bosses somewhere else in the world before you may come home".
Danie did at that stage have practical work experiences over 2 vintages at Waterford under excellent winemaker Kevin Arnold.
He managed to arrange for himself a position as "cellar rat" at Chateau Grand Mayne in St Emillion, France in October 2005, which he loved (I think mainly because of the 2 hour several course meals at lunchtime accompanied by wonderful French wines).
In the beginning of 2006 he helped Gary at Jordan Winery during the harvest and then proceeded to work a couple of months at Alan Scott in Blenheim, New Zealand, gaining excellent knowledge of cool climate white wines and absolutely loving the country, the people and of course the rugby there.
He spent the harvest in the northern hemisphere from August to December 2006 at Stags Leap in Napa Valley, California, thinking he would be allowed to return home afterwards.
But then he was offered an opportunity by our Swedish importer to be stationed in Stockholm and work as a "flying winemaker", regularly being sent to Italy, Greece and South Africa to source and blend bulk wines for the Swedish Systembolaget, gaining excellent experience in what quality of wines were being offered at which prices.
This 2 year contract ended in Dec. 2008 and punctually, on 2nd Feb 2009, the 350th birthday of the South African wine industry, he started on Kaapzicht as our new winemaker. (Father got demoted to cellarmaster). This makes him the 4th generation to be involved in the family business since 1946.
After his first vintage on Kaapzicht he was asked to help out for 6 weeks as assistant winemaker at Chateau Negly near B'ziers in Languedoc during the harvest 2009.
Danie is very passionate about wine, always puts glasses with wines from different tanks in front of us and seeks our opinion before bottling, sharing his thoughts and ideas, discussing marketing and the product range with us and it is a pleasure to work with him.
It is wonderful to have someone in the family who will take over the batton and run with it and we are convinced that Danie jun will do a good job with Kaapzicht wines in the future.