Riki joined the Vondeling team in June 2015, lending a helping hand in more areas than just the tasting room and now manages the Vondeling Wine Club. She studied Cellar Management and Viticulture at Elsenburg and although she loves the inside of a cellar, she prefers the inside of the tasting room. “I love people. And I love sharing my knowledge of the journey from the vine to wine with visitors”, says Riki. When not behind the tasting room counter or sending wine to loyal Vondeling fans, you will find Riki listening to her diverse collection of music, spending time with friends and family, or being outside with camera in hand.


Thursday, 18 October 2018 06:38

"Vondeling Walks Away with Pinotage Trophy"

Hello there, Vondelingers!

Spring is in full flow here and everything is exploding all over the place, especially the vineyards. And if you are unlucky enough to be susceptible to hay fever, then sneezing and spluttering becomes a common occurrence. My youngest child also turned 20 on October 1st, which I have secretly found alarming! Where does all the time go?

Oct Newsletter Pic 1

Vineyards have always intrigued Emile. Growing up in the Northern suburbs, Emile and his brother took it upon themselves to visit as many wine farms as possible. This vinous education saw him in good stead, and a passion was ignited to learn more about what makes wines from diverse regions taste so comparatively different. Emile married his wife, Hilani, in our St.Clement’s chapel and their first pink foot, little Anna, made her appearance earlier this year. The trio lives happily on the farm with their two brown border collies.

Emile Blog Photo


What has been the highlight of your career in die wine industry so far?

A:        Being able to travel and drink exceptional wine will always be one of the best things about being in this industry. Road tripping down the East coast of Australia was one to remember. I love that you ask “so far” …


How long have you been working at Vondeling, and what do you love most about the brand?

A:                  I have been winemaker since December 2011, so almost 7 years. There are various aspects I love about working for Vondeling. I think that being such a tightly-knit team and being able to be involved in almost everything that makes a wine farm tick is what makes us great. Being part of it and making awesome wine is what I love.


With which cultivar do you enjoy working the most and why?

A:             There are not many grapes I don’t like working with. I love receiving cool, green-glowing Sauvignon Blanc grapes very early in the morning during harvest. The smell as it comes arrives and the aromatics as it goes through the stages of fermentation are simply amazing.


If you could have dinner with any winemaker, who will it be and where would you take them for dinner or what will you cook?

A:      I often braai with my winemaker friends and I am content with that. Nothing beats a “skaap tjoppie” (lamb chop) on the fire and a local Chenin in my glass.


What is the biggest challenge the South African wine industry is facing currently?

A:              Making world class is relatively easy and South Africa proved that we can do this and beat many other countries on quality. The challenge is selling it to the world at the prices it deserves and being sustainable in growing global awareness.


Which varietal, do you think, will South Africa become best known for in five years from now?

A: Pinotage and Chenin Blanc will always form part of our heritage and future.


What do you enjoy most about living on Vondeling?

A:      Zero traffic and being able to walk home for lunch and have a dip in my pool or spend some time with Anna is pretty neat. Obviously, it is jaw-droppingly beautiful and tranquil too.


Thursday, 11 October 2018 08:02

Vondeling Awards Selection

 Awards Box

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We've put together a selection of award-winning Vondeling Wines at a special price for our valued Wine Club members ONLY!

Vondeling Bowwood MIWA Trophy Matthew Copeland adjusted

Vondeling Wines, the conservation champion wine farm in the heart of Voor-Paardeberg, snatched the JF Hillebrand Trophy awarded to the Top Scoring Pinotage for their Bowwood Pinotage 2015 in the annual Michelangelo International Wine Awards competition. They also scooped no less than three Gold Medals for their Babiana 2017, Petit Blanc Chenin Blanc 2018 and Merlot Reserve 2017.  The awards were presented during a glitzy ceremonial dinner at the Cape Sun Hotel on Saturday 29 September.

Mariaan started at Vondeling in 2012 and has been an indispensable part of the development of the tasting room. “This place is in my blood,” she says with a smile. Her duties began at the tasting counter and is now the driving force behind the multitude of functions, weddings and lunch concepts, such as offering visitors the chance to experience a traditional South African braai, complete of course with braai broodjies and malva pudding. In a nutshell, if you have an interesting idea - she’s the one to talk to. She has been married to her husband, Malcolm, for over two decades. The pair have two children, Edwin and Christine. When not pouring wines or brainstorming functions, you’ll find Mariaan and her family travelling somewhere beautiful.

Mariaan Blog Photo


Tell us about your career path in die wine industry.  

A:                       My first job in the wine industry was in 1993 at Twee Jonge Gezellen, Tulbagh. Although it was an admin position, “I caught the bug”. Back then we all had to take turns to work in the tasting room over weekends and I loved it! I have worked in the wine and agriculture industry since then – now “living the dream” by being tasting room & events manager with the added responsibility of marketing and organising functions and weddings, which adds a different dimension and really makes my life interesting.


 What are you passionate about in life?

A: Family first and to travel. “I’ve not been everywhere, but it’s on my list” 


Do you have a favourite Vondeling wine? 

A:    Tough one!  But yes, Vondeling Cabernet Sauvignon. I love the intense flavours of dark red fruit and the way it lingers on the palate. I can literally have a bottle all by myself (and NOT feel it the next day) 


 Where would you like to retire?

A:   Paleochora, Crete (in my dream world) Stilbaai (in my real world)


 What can bridal couples expect from you when booking their wedding at Vondeling Wines?

A:                 Honesty, professionalism, friendliness and lots of laughs along the way. I give it my all. I know how daunting it is to plan a wedding and I want the couple to feel at ease and not sweat the small stuff. I am always available and will go the extra mile to help make the journey to their most special day as stress-free as possible. Most of the Vondeling couples become like family!


Tim Atkin Report 2018

Vondeling has reaffirmed its position as a consistent producer of outstanding and distinctive still wines with no less than four wines achieving a 90+ rating in Tim Atkin’s 2018 SA Special Report.

• Vondeling Babiana 2017 - 93 Points
• Vondeling Philosophie 2015 - 93 Points
• Vondeling Chardonnay 2017 - 91 Points
• Vondeling Monsonia 2015 - 90 Points

 Tim Atkin is an award-winning British wine-writer and Master of Wine. The 2018 SA Special Report is the sixth edition of his publication. Tim says that his collection, he believes, would compare with the best of any other wine-producing country.

Order your selection of Vondeling wines here

Join the Piccolo Mondo restaurant at the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton on Friday 28 September for an epicurean wine dinner presented by Vondeling Wines’ senior winemaker, Matthew Copeland.

Piccolo Mondo Dinner mailchimp

The team from Food Fanatics and The Homestead in Plumstead will be collaborating with Vondeling Wines to celebrate Heritage Day in true South African style with a Harvest Pop Up Lunch on Monday 24 September. 

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Wine Tasting: Monday to Friday, 10:00 to 17:00
Weekends and Public Holidays by appointment (for groups larger than 8)
Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 17:00

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