For over 70 years, we have sourced and selected grapes to best express our South African wineland origins. It was already in 1942 that Douglas Green was convinced that the quality and character of the varied vineyards of the Western Cape should not be confined, but rather combined to express the best of each region.
The Douglas Green winemaking team is true to tradition but still modern and innovative in their dedication to creating lifestyle wines true to the needs of our local and international market and our promise of “Cape Wine at its best”.
We source only the best vineyards from the best suited regions for each variety to create our distinctive fruit-driven signature wines. After years of experience and close relationships forged over many vintages, our growers and appointed cellars are virtually ‘part of the family’.
This innovative take on traditional winemaking of the day gave Douglas Green the edge in terms of value and consistency that still prevails to this day.
JACQUES VILJOEN; BRAMPTON
Raised in the Cape’s Winelands, his most memorable experience with wine was at the impressionable age of five during a pre-school outing to a wine cellar. After the winemaker handed out small cups of must (freshly crushed grape juice) to all the pupils, Jacques was enamoured: “It was a taste revelation. I recall the juice being so sweet and concentrated, and a very specific smell of fermentation esters floating in the air. It certainly triggered something in me,” he reflects.
From there, the decision to become a winemaker came naturally. At 18, Jacques went on to study winemaking at Stellenbosch University. Following a formative period in France where Jacques learnt his style that merges classic and modern techniques. On his return to South Africa he spent a further 16 years refining his winemaking skills before joining Brampton.
Based on his inherent love and respect of nature, Jacques endeavors to stay true to it. He is an expert in honouring terroir and the natural fruit to produce award-winning vintages. “Winemaking is like preparing a meal for someone. You know the effort that went into making it and it is rewarding to see your guests enjoy it,” explains Jacques.
Jacques is particularly strategic in his response to tackling challenges of any sort, with an ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ perspective. Ultimately, winemaking is a team sport, and for Jacques, it is about ensuring he is able to support every person and encourage their strengths in order to reap the best results – vintage after vintage.
MICHAEL LANGENHOVEN; BOSCHENDAL
Michael Langenhoven, Boschendal’s Winemaker for white wines, knew he was never destined for an office job. With an entrenched love of nature, he instinctively opted to study agriculture at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch.
Yet, after initially finding viticulture interesting, he was soon more captivated by winemaking, following a harvest internship. What progressed was Michael’s headfirst dive into the barrel of the wine world, having worked successful harvests in California’s Dry Creek Vineyards as well as France’s Rhône Valley and Sancerre.
This formative time abroad helped pave the path of his personal winemaking philosophy, which he describes as making Old-World style wines in a New World environment. “I always aim to make elegant and well-balanced wines, respecting the terroir from where the grapes are from”.
With a tenured career spanning over 15 years, Michael’s love for the industry is deep-rooted – much like the vines he is surrounded by. “I love harvest time. There is always the fresh smell of grapes in the cellar and good energy in the air,” he says.
As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, he tackles challenges by preparing, and gaining as much information as possible. For Michael, it’s the attention to detail that counts – and it shows in the quality of wines he creates.
JACO POTGIETER; Millstream and Ribshack Red
With more than forty years of winemaking to his name, Jaco Potgieter is lauded for his unwavering dedication and steadfast vision.
Driven by his passion for the influence of terroir, Jaco’s favourite part of the winemaking process is blending, as it enables one to take the best components and characteristics of each cultivar and region and merge them into a harmonious whole.
Having grown up on a small fruit farm in the small Klein Karoo town of Barrydale, wine grapes were always part of his environment. “I drove with my dad to the wine cellar during harvest times and the smell and almost ‘secret’ processes were like a mysterious world. I was enchanted and wanted to know more,” recalls Jaco.
In due course, Jaco did know more – a lot more. Upon completion of his BSc Viticulture and Oenology degree at Stellenbosch University, he spent many years honing his winemaking skills in the Breedekloof Valley. As he continued to evolve his process and palate, his own winemaking philosophy emerged. “Wine is natural and needs to be balanced. I place preference on drinkability and accessibility over a showpiece with a wonderful nose but no length on the palate,” explains Jaco.
And that is a pillar of Jaco’s winemaking philosophy – to make wines that the consumer enjoys and that brings friends and loved ones together.
Ultimately, Jaco is a pragmatist. He approaches challenges with welcome zeal. In fact, in his opinion, challenges are an opportunity to start doing things in a new, better way.