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Vintner of the month

Vintner's Stories

Tariro Masayiti

Is it still extraordinary today that a black man makes wine? And moreover, white wine? Do one still have to emphasize that Tariro Masayiti was the ‚Black White Winemaker‘ of Nederburg?

No, those who know South Africa, the landscape and the wines of that region, those may expect that just the original habitants of the country are familiar with their earth and their nature as a whole to grow grapes there and to know how to make wine.

Nevertheless, Tariro Masayiti was still the first black student in the nineties who graduated at the University of Stellenbosch in Viticulture and Oenology. Still during his studies he was offered a job as assistant winemaker for Fleur du Cap, already 2½ years later he became senior winemaker on the vineyard of Nederburg where he spent 6 intensive years of learning. But he didn’t like to remain as the ‚Black White Winemaker‘ only, he needed experience with red wine which he gathered in the following at one vineyard of the ‚Kooperatieve Wijnbouwers Vereniging‘ (KWV).

And then he recognized the advertisement as winemaker of Springfontein – and one of his most important mentors, Dr. Rowald Hepp of Schloss Vollrads in Germany, motivated him to hire there.

The rest is history, no, legend: he has learned ‚by doing‘, with his own hands – and at all vineyards he has left his marks: ‘I physically test the grapes’, says Tariro Masayiti. ‚I smell them and at the same time look for specific characters and flavours. You improve on the job with training – you just need to taste a lot of wine. You need to love wine and having a science background is useful, so you understand the technical processes. But one thing that serves me well is I am dedicated and passionate about winemaking’!

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