Johan loves to go walkabout, indulging his wanderlust, exploring new terroir and winemaking regions, and gathering insight into alternative approaches. His signature is big, voluminous wines ‘that make you stop and listen to the music the wine is making’. Johan was named Diners Club Winemaker of the Year in 2011 for his Creative Block 5 blend. When he’s not playing with the fruits of his barrels, he’ll be tearing up trails on his mountain bike, or gearing down on the golf course.
Raised on a wine and apricot farm in Bonnievale, Heidi Dietstein has a deep love of nature and appreciation of the virtues of natural winemaking. Having completed her Diploma in Cellar Technology at Elsenburg College in 2009, Heidi’s learning journey has included internships in top winemaking regions in New Zealand, France and the USA. Since joining Spier in 2015, Heidi has developed as a specialist in Cap Classique and quality red wines. She appreciates the variety of terroirs and varietals with which the winemakers work; after all, good wines are made in the vineyards. A keen traveller, her passion for good food and wine is matched by her love for the outdoors, where she enjoys the sea, cycling and swimming.
“My aim is to get the very best out of every site that Spier sources grapes from,” explains Bennie Liebenberg, Spier’s viticulturist. “What we do in the vineyard can significantly impact the wine’s ultimate quality.”
Bennie doesn’t have a favourite grape – the sheer diversity of the varietals in his care makes his job exciting. “Every area is different, and every cultivar is unique. I enjoy everything; I don’t get bored,” he says.
Tania Kleintjes joined Spier in 2007 and has been Spier’s organic winemaker since 2016. In this role, she oversees the organic winemaking process – from harvest, production to bottling – as well as managing accreditation and compliance.
“I want my wines to be an authentic and fulsome expression of terroir,” she says. “This means having a light touch in the cellar – I don’t believe in obsessively polishing or tinkering.”
Assistant Winemaker Heinrich has been a valued member of the team since 2009. He plays a key role in the management of the harvest teams and we are proud to see him take the next big step in his career towards becoming a fully-fledged winemaker.
Raised in the Little Karoo town of Oudtshoorn, Lizanne Jordaan completed her BSc Agric Viticulture and Oenology at the University of Stellenbosch in 2005. After travelling overseas, she joined Spier the following year as an assistant winemaker, keen to gain knowledge and experience as part of a wine team renowned for excellence. Today, Lizanne oversees the production of select red wine brands for Spier’s export markets to craft red wines that over-deliver on quality and exceed customer expectations. Innovation and involvement in the many facets of winemaking drive Lizanne’s commitment to her work. She is always aware of the privilege of having been the one to make the wine she shares with her family and friends. A wife and mother of three lively sons, Lizanne also enjoys jogging and making good food.
A seasoned winemaker, a champion taster and South Africa’s 100th Cape Wine Master (2017), Anton Swarts has worked at Spier since 1999. More than two decades later, he is a Senior Winemaker on the team, responsible for wine procurement and production of bespoke and custom wines. For Anton, it’s a journey brimming with love and passion for his work and fired up by lifelong learning. As a winemaker, he crafts the wines to wow his customers, and as a wine master, he invites them into a world where everyone can ‘speak wine’. Amongst his litany of career achievements, Anton has been repeatedly selected as a member of the official SA Wine Tasting Team competing in international events. Never short of a good story to tell, Anton enjoys time with friends and family, cooking and sharing good food and wine.
Anthony Kock's interest in wine evolved into an abiding passion for the science and art of winemaking during his 15 years with Spier Wine Farm. After four years as a Spier Wine Educator, he joined the Spier cellar team as a trainee winemaker focused on white wines. Working side by side with senior team members each day and completing his Diploma Wine Course at the Cape Wine Academy, he has developed unique knowledge and expertise steeped in Spier’s sustainability ethos. Over the past decade, Anthony has played an integral part in achieving the many accolades awarded to Spier’s white wines. Anthony’s career trajectory is testimony to the commitment to talent development within the team. A family man, he prioritises spending time with his wife and daughter and enjoys cooking, gardening and woodwork.
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