Morgenster shining brightly

by | Mar 1, 2020 | Practical in the cellar, Winetech Technical

Samuel Snyders, Henry Kotzé, Adrian de Vries and Naithan Adams.

Morgenster, outside Somerset West, is a family business with a commitment to quality and a passion to inspire people. This estate has been a regular participant of the Winetech study groups and Winetech workshops for senior cellar assistants over the past few years. Naithan Adams was one of the top ten achievers of the Winetech study groups in 2019 and is passionate to increase and capture his existing knowledge. Naithan thrives in the Winetech study groups and workshops for senior cellar assistants.

Henry Kotzé, winemaker of Morgenster, contributes to the development and expansion of his cellar team’s knowledge, by asking questions after they attended the study groups. There is an ongoing transfer of knowledge in the cellar from which the team benefits. The Morgenster cellar team is small and consists of Naithan Adams and Samuel Snyders, who are both permanently involved in the cellar. Adrian de Vries is employed in the warehouse, but often assists in the cellar during peak periods.

Morgenster has a human-orientated approach about developing individual potential, particularly in the way transfer of knowledge takes place in the cellar. There is a commitment to encourage the cellar team and to develop them so that they can successfully reach their full potential. Although the cellar assistants are sometimes under pressure, they are also encouraged and supported, because without encouragement and support, individual success is a challenge for most.

Morgenster is committed to informal mentoring relationships and the knowledge which Henry gained during his career is transferred through mentoring the cellar team. Ultimately, mentorship is a fundamental form of human development, where one person makes an investment in terms of time, energy and personal involvement to assist another person in his development and growth.

Like all other cellars in the wine industry, Morgenster’s programme is full and time is limited and with a small team, careful planning is needed to include training. Henry is of the opinion that the training available in the industry is generally limited, but the available training is supported.

The cellar participates in the Winetech study groups and workshops for senior cellar assistants, because it is perceived as a good opportunity for cellar assistants to learn more and expand their knowledge. The study groups and senior workshops offer opportunities to cellar assistants to acquire information offered from another perspective. Henry is of the opinion that he can transfer information and his personal knowledge to his team, but when the Morgenster team receives the same information from another person, capturing of knowledge takes place successfully. The knowledge gained in the study groups is to the benefit of Morgenster. Henry confirms that Naithan was encouraged to attend the workshop for senior cellar assistants not only to broaden his knowledge, but to increase his confidence. Regular attendance of the Winetech study groups led to Naithan developing sufficient confidence to ask more questions and provide input in the cellar. Naithan said that attending the Winetech study groups and senior workshops gave him recognition as an individual.

Henry Kotzé’s mentorship relations with this cellar team does not only transfer knowledge, it gives direction and he is exceptionally supportive of his team. The best mentors are the people who challenge others and force them to examine their own personal abilities and potential and to set higher goals for themselves.


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