Waterkloof Wines – a vision for leadership development

by | Jul 1, 2021 | Practical in the cellar, Winetech Technical

Waterkloof Estate is situated high against the slopes of the Hottentots-Holland Mountains, with breathtakingly views of the entire False Bay. The estate is a family business, and the owner has an enormous passion for food and wine, which is reflected in the production of quality wines and the restaurant which gained international fame for its excellent cuisine. Unfortunately, the well-known Waterkloof restaurant closed during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a huge loss for regular patrons and visitors.

According to cellarmaster, Nadia Langenegger, wines are made which everyone involved on the farm enjoy drinking. Waterkloof Wines believes that wine is a special product and a gift from nature. The viticulture practices and wine making processes represent a return to practices from long ago, and there is an awareness of health. Waterkloof believes that an investment should be made in employees, because content cellar assistants make good wines. All possible opportunities and support are available to the cellar assistants to reach their full potential. For example, Waterkloof Wines supported cellar assistant Roelien Harolds to harvest in France. The position for assistant winemaker is vacant and the possibility exists that one of the cellar assistants could fill the position in the future.

Waterkloof is a regular participant in the Winetech study groups and according to Nadia, participation in the study groups develops the confidence of the cellar team and a greater awareness about winemaking processes is created. The study groups encourage the cellar team to ask questions and to learn more in the process. The Waterkloof team knows exactly what to do and when to do specific tasks and there is a better understanding of assignments.

Waterkloof has a confident cellar team and each of the four cellar assistants is responsible for a specific department in the cellar. There is an established open-door policy and cellar assistants are encouraged to ask questions. The cellar team is a unit, and it is policy that foreign students working in the cellar are subordinate to the Waterkloof cellar team. Good communication and feedback are indispensable, and it is essential that everyone closely follows the systems that are in place in the cellar. Nadia believes that initiative, as well as interest in the product they work with, are equally important. All the cellar assistants have been employed by Waterkloof for more than ten years and have acquired a thorough practical knowledge.

The Waterkloof cellar team: Siyabonga Paul, Nadia Langenegger, Roelien Harolds, Mervin Hartzenberg and Morne Sauls.

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