The Earth’s mantle thrusts up above the gentle town of Franschhoek, a wild slice of untamed mountain on which sits a farm named Wildeberg. An established wine region for some 350 years, sensible generations never thought to plant a vine here until a happy band of idealists recently craned their necks up at this hillside and, dizzy with hope, decided to give it a go.
Franschhoek is on the very edge of the south-eastern corner of the Cape’s venerable Coastal Region, indeed Wildeberg’s property border runs over the top of the mountain where the Coastal Region gives way to the baboon-strewn road to Grabouw and the wider Western Cape.
JD was destined to be a winemaker even before he was born. Whilst pregnant, his mother helped with pressings and punch downs in their family winery, enriching JDs formative senses with winery life. His earliest memories are of the “floral aromas in the winery while the fermentations were happening”. JD always wanted to be a winemaker and it all came so naturally whilst helping his father in their Paarl winery and studying winemaking at Stellenbosch University.
JD’s focus is to develop the Wildeberg farm, winery and barrel store.