Jacques Roux was in his second year of accountancy at university when it dawned on him that he didn’t actually want to wear a tie his entire career and that he actually wanted to get into wine. The problem was, he had skipped science at school at Paul Roos in Stellenbosch and you needed the subject in order to qualify to study viticulture. Indicative of the determined, perfectionist nature of the man that shows through in his winemaking, Jacques went back to school, asking and receiving special permission from the headmaster to join the pupils as a varsity student and cram in Standard, 8, 9 and 10 science. He went on to study viticulture and the rest is history. Joining Robertson Winery in 2001, Jacques, his wife (who is originally from Robertson) and their kids feel right at home in this small town with a big heart.
“While in a larger town like Stellenbosch, you’re just a number, in Robertson, you’re part of the whole community. Everyone is sharing. We have friends in every business, our kids are the same age and you’re not a number. You are somebody.”
A motorbike nut (BMW 1200GS if you’re interested), keen cook and trail runner, Jacques is also, or perhaps more importantly, the specialty wine maker at Robertson Winery for the Constitution Road and Single Vineyard Ranges and Fat Bastard White wines. With his wine-making Jacques is on a mission to change palates for the better. “As South Africans we tend to over-oak wines. Since about 2012 I’ve been working at making less oak-driven and more fruit-driven wines.” If Jacques had to convince you to try just one wine from Robertson Winery, it would be the Retreat Sauvignon Blanc 2013.
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.