Charl Coetzee

Charl has been part of the Babylonstoren team since day one, so it’s no surprise that he plays such an important role on the farm.

After completing his undergraduate studies in Viticulture and Oenology at Stellenbosch University, he obtained his Honours degree in oenology. He also earned an MBA in 2014.

His career started off at Kaapzicht Wine Estate but he was soon recruited to head up the Babylonstoren cellar, at that point still in its early days. Today, Charl has an extensive job description: he is in charge of the cellar, olive oil press, the water and juice department and now manages the digital department as well. He also serves on the Babylonstoren Board of Directors.

When asked why Babylonstoren is so special, Charl has a simple answer. “Babylonstoren never stagnates, there is always a sense of growth and innovation. If someone has an idea, it is developed and everyone gets on board to ensure its success.”

“Knowing when to step back and not responding to situations in an emotional manner are very important when a problem arises. You have to take time to think about the best response,” says Charl about solving problems efficiently. “It’s so important to remember that it’s okay to make mistakes; just try not to repeat the same ones over and over!”

Career highlights at Babylonstoren include the very start of the wine cellar and the brand development which followed along with the earliest wine sales. There is one particular moment that stands out among the impressive list of achievements and milestones. “I was sitting in a restaurant in New York and saw the waiter serving a bottle of Babylonstoren wine to the table next to me. It was such an amazing encounter because that wine was my baby!”

If he wasn’t such a successful cellar master, Charl says he would have loved to be a journalist – not for the writing but simply for the adventure of driving along undiscovered roads and towns. “I would want to write interesting stories for a publication like Weg magazine, visiting small towns and writing about each of their quirks and characteristics.”

On weekends, Charl can be found trail running, mountain biking, camping or at a braai. He is the proud father of four busy, blonde girls and isn’t scared to admit that he’s terrified of thunder.