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.
Q: What is your favourite wine and food pairing combination?
A: That is a very difficult question as there are so many to choose from! I have a sweet tooth and I must say that bubbly with nougat is probably my favourite pairing.
Q: Two ingredients you absolutely cannot cook without that are always in your fridge or pantry?
A: Salt and tabasco sauce.
Q: What makes Vondeling different to other Conservation Champions?
A: Vondeling is very committed to conservation on the Paardeberg Mountain and on the farm. We even incorporate some of the special flowers that can only be found here into our range of wines. Two of our wines are aptly named after these fynbos species, namely the Babiana Noctiflora and the Monsonia Speciosa. Apart from that, nothing gets wasted and we recycle or reuse whatever we can. We even welcome ‘green weddings’ now that our function venue runs exclusively on solar power.
Q: Where will you be spending your December holiday?
A: Definitely close to the ocean. I love the sound of the waves and I always feel well-rested and energised for the next stretch of work.
Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
A: Fast food! Pizzas, nachos and American-style fries are my absolute favourites and the only healthy one is sushi. Nothing beats a salmon rose with a glass of Vondeling Sauvignon Blanc in summer.
Q: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
A: If I must select the single most important bit of advice, it would be that you are much stronger than you realise and that all experiences, even the bad ones, are there to strengthen you and guide you into make better decisions in future. And don’t forget to have fun along the way!