Hidden Valley Estate is situated against the slopes of the Helderberg Mountains and is known for its approach of close collaboration with nature. This philosophy of close collaboration is not limited to the vineyards but is also implemented in the cellar where sound relations ensure successful transfer of knowledge to the cellar team.
According to Annalie van Dyk, winemaker of Hidden Valley, informal mentoring relationships are well established, which ensure a continuous transfer of knowledge. Mentorship relationships contribute to the development of cellar assistants’ skills and prepare them for more responsibilities. Cellar assistants’ understanding and insight about the winemaking processes are often the result of sound relations. Mentorship relationships contribute to the development of mutual trust, increased confidence, and the establishment of pride in successful completed assignments. Cellar assistants often experience positive work relations as an investment made in them and as a result, knowledge is transferred with greater success. Annalie believes that development of knowledge establishes a greater understanding of the different winemaking processes and that it is important to maintain the interest of cellar assistants.
Hidden Valley is a regular participant in the Winetech study groups, as Annalie believes that participation has many advantages. It is for the benefit of the cellar team to communicate with fellow cellar assistants and to be continuously exposed to new information. She believes that the Winetech study groups offer participants the opportunity to make comparisons with information received from their winemakers. This automatically leads to further questions and transfer of knowledge. She also believes that the Winetech study groups broaden the world of cellar assistants. Hidden Valley is a small cellar and participation in the study groups creates an awareness of the winemaking practices in larger cellars. The exposure to the wine industry in general leads to greater confidence and consequently there is a better understanding of their own role and responsibilities within the Hidden Valley cellar. Regular participation in the study groups often confirms a greater awareness of cellar assistants’ own value.
The Winetech study groups offer stimulation to the team and their knowledge is refreshed. Hidden Valley found that with continuous transfer of knowledge and informal mentoring relationships, opportunities are created, which enable cellar assistants to successfully reach their full potential and personal goals.