Jacques hails from Paarl where the wine bug sank its teeth into him at an early age. Ironically he was born into a world far removed from vines, having spent his first five years on Robben Island, South Africa’s iconic symbol of political struggle.
After completing his schooling in Paarl, Jacques enrolled at Elsenburg Agricultural College to study Viticulture. After completing his studies he worked at various wine cellars, both locally and abroad, before returning to Elsenburg to further study Winemaking where he graduated top of the class.
His work experience at Warwick estate ignited a passion for creating red wines of complexity, while Môreson’s award winning Cap Classique wines instilled a love of bubblies in this lanky and laid-back winemaker. Jacques joined Black Elephant Vintners in January 2013, bringing his experience and hands-on approach into the company. It is Jacques’ commitment to delivering consistent high quality, interesting and multi-dimensional wines that completes the picture of the Black Elephant Vintners team.
The use of tried and tested “old fashioned” methods in the cellar, such as open top fermentors and a basket press, suits Jacques’ philosophy of “sticking to the basics”. “It’s not rocket science,” he quips. “I just prefer making clean, healthy wines. Then I have a solid basis and can experiment when it comes to the blending process,” maintains Jacques.
Jacques’ humble approach is both inspirational and endearing. It is these characteristics one will find in his fine wines.