Accomplished cellar master JD Pretorius will complete his last harvest at Steenberg this coming year, before taking up a new challenge to head up winemaking and viticulture at Warwick Wine Estate in Stellenbosch in early 2019.
JD (Johannes Diederick) will be leaving Steenberg after a successful 10 year career to become the new cellar master at Warwick. His passion for winemaking is unparalleled, and his enthusiasm for all aspects of the craft has made him an asset to the wine industry.
Highlights of his tenure at Steenberg after joining the team as winemaker in 2009 include his appointment as cellar master in 2012, winning the coveted title of Young Winemaker of the Year in 2014, and taking on the position of general manager earlier this year.
“JD has been a valuable asset to Steenberg over the past 10 years achieving notable accomplishments. He will always be part of our Graham Beck Enterprises family and we are excited to watch him continue to grow within the wine industry,” says Chris du Toit, Graham Beck Enterprises CEO.
In his new role at Warwick, JD will head up the winemaking and viticulture functions, with a focus on the continuous improvement in quality in all areas, in line with Warwick’s long term vision to firmly establish its premium wine offering in a local and international context.
“JD’s track record of producing excellent wines and managing an outstanding operation really speaks for itself. His peers in the industry hold him in exceptionally high esteem, and I am very excited about the fresh perspectives he will bring to our young, dynamic team. Together, we will be able to take this amazing brand from strength to strength,” says Warwick’s CEO, Christiane von Arnim.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Viticulture and Oenology at the University of Stellenbosch in 2007, JD threw himself into exploring multiple aspects of the winemaking world. A brief stint at Beyerskloof led to his appointment as harvest supervisor at Graham Beck. In 2008 he ventured to California to participate in the harvest for Stonestreet Wines in Sonoma Valley. JD joined Steenberg upon his return to South Africa.
“I would like to thank the Beck family and the Steenberg team for a wonderful 10 years and all the support they have given me to achieve this position in the industry. I am very excited for this new endeavour for me and my family.”
“We are extremely happy for JD and his family as they embark on this new chapter in Stellenbosch,” adds du Toit.