Meet our Team
The Taste Trio
In the world of wine, Hugo is anything but a purist; he finds joy in every aspect of the winemaking process – from the serene vineyards to the art of blending, bottling, marketing, and packaging – the exhilarating tasting experiences.
Hugo's journey in the wine industry began back in 1996 when he pursued a Bachelor's degree in Oenology and Viticulture.
His ventures into harvesting grapes in both France and South Africa have enriched his winemaking expertise and garnered him accolades, including the prestigious title of SA Young Wine of the Year in 2007, as well as numerous Veritas medals and a Top 10 Pinotage medal.
While deeply rooted in winemaking, in 2014 Hugo gracefully transitioned into the business and marketing aspects of the industry, enjoying the challenges that each facet presents. Despite his ever-expanding horizons, he still finds immense satisfaction in the art of winemaking itself.
Among the countless wines that have crossed his discerning palate, one wine holds a special place in his heart – the Blokhuis Grenache Blanc.
After completing my B.Sc degree in Oenology and Viticulture in 1999, I eagerly joined Perdeberg Winery and had the opportunity to work in their newly custom-built red wine cellar. That vintage proved to be a pivotal time for me, I had to work hard and learn twice as fast. Looking back it was the best time ever!
Following the harvest, I was offered a position at Vinfruco, an export company renowned for their Arniston Bay brand sold in the UK. My role involved starting and overseeing their high-end wines and barrel maturation facility, which housed over 1000 barrels upon completion. It was an exciting challenge, and the experience further enriched my understanding of winemaking and barrel aging.
In 2017, Hugo and I joined forces. Prior to this, I spent 8 years in wine quality assurance and compliance at Accolade Wines. Since then, our journey together has been one of hard work, determination, and continuous learning.
The one wine that stands out as my absolute favorite is the Agaat Christina.
We couldnt resist her charm, her infectious enthusiasm and a warm smile that effortlessly draw others, convinced us to make her part of the team in 2022. Her background in both the wine and hospitality industries has given her a wealth of knowledge about the market and customer preferences, making her an invaluable addition to the team.
Rialien's passion for wine runs deep, and she's always on the lookout for exciting wine events. You can bet that if there's a wine gathering, she's already there, making friends and creating unforgettable memories.
Rialien is not only getting people together around wine she is also taking her expertise to the next level, immersing herself in a specialized course to expand her knowledge and sharpen her skills even further. This wine course is sure to be a thrilling journey that will enhance her understanding of various wine regions, grape varieties, tasting techniques, and the art of wine appreciation in.
Oh, and speaking of wine, her favorite wine is the Cape Blend Agaat John David