The former CEO of MWEB, Andrew made — without hesitation — the leap from the world of media, bits and bytes to wine, food and farming. His affinity to farm life and his appreciation of well-crafted tastes has found its place at Spier.
Annebelle has been the creative energy behind all things Spier since 2003. Initially heading up the Spier Arts Trust, she produced and directed the annual Spier Arts Summer Season. Prior experience in the film and design-art industry moulded her approach to creating an immersive South African cultural experience. Creative Block 2 is her creative juice of choice.
Frans Smit has harnessed more than three centuries of winemaking tradition to transform Spier into a top award-winning wine producer. ‘Respect what the vineyard hands you’ is our Cellar Master’s mantra. Having grown up on a grape farm in the Northern Cape, becoming master of the barrel was the next logical step. Besides exploring great wines, Frans enjoys wandering about in territories not even 4G can reach. He is a member of the esteemed Cape Winemakers Guild.
Gerhard grew up and went to school in the salty West Coast town of Vredendal. He’s been crunching numbers for Spier since he closed the book on the last chapter of his corporate career in 2004 - and became CFO of Spier Group in 2006. Gerhard enjoys the occasional surf safari, loves his Vespa, the wind in his hair and one wine range in particular: Creative Block. That much awarded collection named 2, 3 and 5. Perfect juice for a numbers man.
Danie has worked in the wine and leisure industry since his student days, so after a six-year stretch at another winery, joining Spier in 2011 was as natural as breathing. He has crystal clear recollection of his first day at Spier, the taste of lunch at Eight still resonant on his palate, and a sense of 'everything being so organised' that stood out as something quite remarkable. Danie doesn't sell wine, he lives it with a passion. Besides being partial to a good Tom Clancy read, seeing the Manhattan skyline and connecting as often as possible with his fishing tackle, he's also known for being a fan of Creative Block 2 - with a fillet of self-caught fish on the side.
Jaco joined one of Spier’s subsidiaries as General Manager, in 1999, and is currently Operations Director for our wines business. Raised in Stellenbosch, Jaco appreciates the simple things. Structure at his desk and in his favourite vino. Good biltong. Kicking a ball around with his children. Shooting the breeze with friends. Not flying (in big birds in the sky) and immersing himself in cooking — with a glass of Creative Block 2 close to the chopping block — make him happy.
Fired up by Spier’s intention to build a powerful values-based culture and sustainable business practices, Heidi signed up to the team in 1998. She has been the lynchpin for many of Spier’s community partnerships and has brokered several successful collaborations. She is convinced that a sea-change is possible if we all do small things differently, every day. She has recently completed her MSc in Sustainability and Responsibility at Ashridge Business School in the United Kingdom.
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