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Vintners, Winemakers & South African Wine Experts

Jose Conde

Stark-Conde Wines & MAN Family Vintners

Jose’ Conde was born and raised in Independence, Missouri. He graduated with honors in fine art from Parsons School of Design in New York and worked for 12 years as a designer and art director in New York and Tokyo, focusing on corporate identity and publishing. In 1997, he moved with his wife and two young daughters to Stellenbosch, South Africa and in 1998 established Stark-Conde’ Wines. The first vintage, made in an old farm shed using a hand crusher and home-made press, went on to receive 92 pts from Wine Spectator magazine, was a Platter 5-star wine (South Africa's highest wine award), won the South African Old Mutual trophy for best Cabernet Sauvignon of the year and was selected by the well-known British wine journalist, Oz Clarke, as one of the Top 20 Wines of the year.¬  Since that first wine, Stark-Conde’ has built a reputation as one of South Africa’s top family-owned wineries. Three times it has won the South African Old Mutual Trophy for Best Cabernet (the only South African winery to have won more than twice), twice it has won the Australian Six-Nations trophy for best New World Cabernet and once for Best New World White Blend. Jose’ is also a founding partner and managing director of MAN FAMILY WINES, a 250,000 case winery focused on good-value varietal wines from South African Coastal Region vineyards. 
 

MAN Family Vintners

Riaan Moller grew up in the Cape wine lands, surrounded by vineyards and beaches. After high school, he left South Africa and did a 3-year working and traveling stint in Europe. On his return, he started working as a cellar hand in various cellars, eventually working his way up to winemaker. In 2002, he decided he wanted to learn more about the finer details of winemaking and entered the Oenology program at Elsenburg College in Stellenbosch, graduating in 2006. Riaan has great depth of experience from small boutique to larger wineries: Slaley, Kleine Zalze, Ernie Els, Buena Vista Winery in California, Spier and most recently at Perdeberg Winery before joining MAN Family Wines as Head Winemaker. In his own words, “Spending time at smaller wineries, I came to understand the importance of attention to detail and quality. Working at larger wineries has taught me to keep a clear head under pressure and to see the potential in every wine.
 

Riaan Moller
Jean Smit

Boekenhoutskloof

Jean Smit grew up in the southern most wine growing region in South Africa, Elim.  After a stint studying medicine in Stellenbosch, Jean followed his true passion, receiving a BSc in oenology & viticulture.   Jean began his career globe trotting and gaining experience in diverse wine regions such as Marlborough (Wither Hills), Russian River Valley (DuMOL), Napa Valley (Larkmead), and Cote-Rotie (Domaine M&S Ogier).   He returned to South Africa, spending three vintages at Rustenberg and one at Iona before joining Boekenhoutskloof in 2008.  As winemaker for Boekenhoutskloof from 2009 to present, Jean has  seen Boekenhoutskloof receive numerous accolades and awards.  Among many accomplishments, Boekenhoutskloof’s Wolftrap  became the first and only South African wine to grace the cover of Wine Spectator.

Jean has a love for surfing and any sport involving water and adventure.  Aikis, his Weimaraner companion doesn’t miss a step with him in the vineyards. 

Grayhaven Winery

Deon Abrams hails from the windswept coast of Cape Town, South Africa.  He grew up an avid sailor, motorcross racer and vintage car rally eventer.  He left South Africa during the dark days of apartheid and traveled extensively, living in Egypt, Israel, England and the U.S.  He met his future wife Max while living in New York in the 1990’s.  The two traveled frequently to Max’s family’s vineyard and winery, Grayhaven, in Virginia, where they would eventually settle and take over the family business.

Nicknamed “MacGyver” by the local farmers, Deon is nearly as well known for his uncanny engineering abilities as he is for his quick wit and wicked sense of humor.  His winemaking style is simple and elegant with a focus on producing wines that reflect the unique terrior of the Piedmont.  Deon is responsible for introducing Pinotage, South Africa’s national grape, to Grayhaven’s vineyards in 2004 and has enjoyed seeing the variety’s popularity grow in the state.

Deon Abrams
Pascal Schildt
Paul Cluver Wines
 
Pascal Schildt was born in Johannesburg and grew up in Pretoria. He holds a Business Ecomomics degree from the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa). Wine was always an integral part of the dinner table at home and whilst studying in Stellenbosch, Pascal joined the wine culture society and ultimately discovered a passion for wine. It was a Meerlust Rubicon 1990 that really changed everything.
In 2001 Pascal moved to France and enrolled into a Masters Degree program in International Commercialisation of Wine from the CFPPA (Beaune, France). Production of wine was calling and he decided to learn more and work as an "ouvrier" (winegrower) for 2 years at Jayer-Gilles (Burgundy, France), after which he moved to the Rhone Valley and became Export Manager for 6 years at Gabriel Meffre (Gigondas, France).  In 2011 Pascal started his own business of importing family owned wineries from South Africa to the US. He is a husband and father of two boys and lives in Newport, Rhode Island.
 
Pascal is at ease speaking English, German, Afrikaans, French and trying to develop a New England accent!  He's even developed a liking for watching American Football, but Rugby still comes first!
His sports of choice are Platform tennis, Squash, Windsurfing and Cycling and although he likes to read, his priorities are spending family time in the kitchen cooking and sabering champagne!
 
Pascal has worked with Paul Cluver wines for five years and joins the festival this year as their Brand Ambassador .

Ken Forrester Wines

Martinhus van der Vyver is the Country Manager, North America for Ken Forrester Wines.  Prior to joining Ken Forrester Wines in 2015, Martinhus was Managing Director for Executive Sports Management and Marketing Manager - Player Affairs for WP Rugby Pty, Ltd. 

Marthinus van der Vyver of Ken Forrester
Lisa Norris

Broadbent Selections

Lisa Norris is the Mid Atlantic Regional Manager for Broadbent Selections.  Broadbent Selections is an importer of specialty wines from around the world, with a focus on South Africa and Portugal.  Lisa works with South African wineries such as Warwick Estates, Savage, De Wetshof, Delaire Graff, A.A. Badenhorst and Alheit Vineyards.  Lisa lives in Richmond, VA and enjoys spending time with her three beautiful Australian Shepherds. 

Vineyards Brands

Olivier Lotterie is Vice President, Mid Atlantic Sales Manager for Vineyard Brands, an importer of wines from Europe, New Zealand and South Africa.  Olivier works with notable South African wines from Wolftrap, MAN Family Wines, Tormentoso, Chocolate Block, Boekenhoutskloof, Stark-Code, Southern Right and others.  Originally from Caen, France, Olivier lives in Alexandria, VA and is an avid cyclist. 

Olivier Lotterie

Zingo Munger
Cape Classics
 
Daniel “Zingo” Munger is a wine professional with 20+ years of experience in importing, wholesale, retail, and restaurants.  Based in North Carolina, Zingo is Mid-Atlantic Sales Manager for Cape C;assics, importers of top South African and French estate wines.