As knowledgeable as the formidable foursome of Jacques, Francois, Thys and Olivia are, without viticulturist Briaan Stipp’s input and expertise, their lives would be a lot harder.
After studying a BSC Viticulture with honours at Stellenbosch Briaan consulted to Robertson Winery from 1994-2005 before coming onboard in a full-time capacity. In his crucial role as the link man between the farmers, the vineyards and the winemakers, it is Briaan’s job to select the right quality of grapes for each different wine. Working extremely closely with the winemakers, he also has to ensure that the quantities are right to make each vintage economically viable. Knowing the wines as well as the winemakers do, he literally knows exactly which block of which vineyard on which farm will go into any given wine.
“There is a great flow of information between me and the winemakers. Every day we sit down at 3pm, discuss which vineyards are ready and which block will flow next. Only when we finish the harvest do we get to meet over some of our wine.”
Combining the instincts of a farmer, with a scientist’s attention to detail, an accountant’s understanding of supply and demand and a sailor’s reading of the weather, the years Briaan has spent in the Robertson winelands have resulted in a knowledge of the terroir second to none. To the winemakers of Robertson Winery and all the fans of Robertson Winery wines, he is worth his weight in gold.
We believe wine making is a natural process. Since different styles of wine vary greatly in their soil and climatic requirements, our accomplished cellar master, Bowen Botha, believes that the desired style should determine the choice of vineyard. Adhering to a philosophy of minimal handling and gentle pressing in order to capture the natural flavours of the fruit in the wine, Bowen and his inspired team of winemakers gently guide the transformation process to craft wines of exceptional quality and individuality.