Q&A with Pieter Du Toit, our Customer Relations & Wine Guru

We asked Pieter Du Toit, a few interesting questions and here is what he had to say…

If you could describe Cederberg Wines in three words, what would they be, and why?

Discovery, terroir, unique. These exceptional wines tell the story of a brave journey into previously uncharted territory.

Can you share some memorable experiences or achievements at Cederberg Wines?

There are so many. In 2004: the first big award. The Cederberg Shiraz 2002 won the award for Best SA Shiraz and Best SA Red Wine at the then Fairbairn Capital Trophy Wine Show, and then the Cederberg Shiraz 2006 was awarded the International Trophy for the Best Rhône-style Wine above £10 in the world at the annual Decanter World Wine Awards in 2008. But what stands out most for me will always be a winter’s morning in 2007 when David took me to the cellar to taste two wines from the tank. The one wine was his first-ever Ghost Corner Semillon.

I literally wept. It took me straight back to walks with my family in the coastal region of Elim: the Strandveld vegetation, the ocean, the limey dust of the footpath and the warm Indian Ocean – exactly what the wine is about.

Can you share your journey at Cederberg Wines? What inspired you to pursue a career in the wine industry?

I will always maintain that the wine industry chooses you. It was an old friend who lured me into tasting wine at her house and finally got me into doing a wine course. I ended up working at the Cape Wine Academy and got to know the people behind the wines and terroirs. It all made sense when you added the wine. When David called, I said yes!

What advice would you give to aspiring professionals who want to pursue a career in the wine industry, particularly in marketing and wine expertise?

Wine and food are both art forms hiding behind strict scientific rules. Modern technology is a tool that can be used in both cases. Still, old-fashioned skills like good relationships, following up, having a notebook in your hand, and building a reputation will get you everywhere. I am afraid social media is only one-third there. Any art form demands dedicated work, attention to detail and time.

What do you enjoy most about working in the wine industry, and specifically at Cederberg Wines?

The best part will always be the people I meet and have met. The astonishment on the faces of our clients when they finally arrive here is priceless. The Cederberg ranges of wine make them a joy to sell.

What’s the most unusual or unexpected pairing you’ve come across with one of Cederberg’s wines?

In the Scandinavian countries you have to be prepared to open yourself (and your palate) up to food experiences on another level. I will always remember the soft poached quail egg paired with the Five Generations Chenin in the Småland region in Sweden.

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