CARL VAN DER MERWE,
Winemaker - Quinta Essentia
With a quiet confidence, Carl has carved out a position as one of the preeminent winemakers in South Africa. His wines have received critical acclaim globally, including best Chenin Blanc in the world at the International Wine Challenge in 2015 and best white blend under 15 pounds in the world at the Decanter World Wine Awards in London in 2015. 2016 has seen his Chardonnay honored as the best in the world at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
Carl has been the head winemaker at DeMorgenzon in Stellenbosch South Africa since 2010. Previously he was the winemaker at Quion Rock, also in Stellenbosch. While he is a talented winemaker, it is his dark and sultry good looks that seem to have raised the most interest. Speaking of good looks brings us to Kath, Carl’s beautiful, erudite and energetic wife and their gorgeous children.
Having previously enjoyed a high flying career in the business world, Wendy now finds herself living on top of a mountain in Stellenbosch. Wendy was a director of Liberty Investors Limited, the previously listed holding company of the Liberty Group. In an earlier life she was the Deputy Chairman of Women's Investment Portfolio Limited (Wiphold), the first women's controlled company to list on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange with then assets in excess of R1 billion. She also was deputy chairman of the Connection Group Limited, a major listed information technology and retailing company.
Wendy still does a lot more than watch the grapes grow. Businesswise, she remains a trustee of The Tribune Trust, an investment holding trust and a director of Sphere Holdings Limited, a black empowerment company.
Her philanthropic involvement includes her being a director of the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre, a post-graduate teaching hospital wholly owned by the University of the Witwatersrand's Faculty of Health Sciences. She is involved in many philanthropies and is, inter alia, a trustee of The Donald Gordon Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in Southern Africa, and is a director of the Southern African board of the Synergos Institute.
THE BETZ FAMILY TEAM
Steve and Bridgit Griessel owners of Betz Family Winery who are originally from South Africa, have a deep passion for South African Chenin Blanc. Steve says "Chenin Blanc is quintessentially South African- distinctive, aromatic, intense on the palate with an acid backbone that leaves you wanting more."
The Betz Team is dedicated to ensuring that they are true to their heritage, culture and wine making principles. Betz Family have been crafting compelling small production wines in Washington state since 1997. Teaming with Carl and Wendy was a natural progression. Their winemaking principles and philosophy is a natural fit with what Bob Betz has instilled at Betz Family Winery.