Heinrich la Fleur

Assistant Winemaker
Bellingham Wines
Heinrich La Fleur, cellar assistant of DGB Wellington is originally from Malmesbury, but his family moved to Wellington when he was 10 years old. He attended Bergriver Secondary School and completed his matric successfully in 2004.

Heinrich was employed by a company in the northern suburbs, manufacturing sanitary wares, until 2009 when he joined DGB during the harvest. After the 2010 harvest Heinrich was employed permanently in the blending cellar.

Heinrich said that he did not choose to become a cellar assistant; his circumstances determined his career, but he is convinced that it was meant to be. His late mother played an important role in his life as she encouraged him to believe in himself and supported him when he had to make important decisions.

Heinrich thoroughly enjoys harvest time, particularly when the grapes are off-loaded. He is also motivated by the memories of his parents and Mario Damon of DGB plays an important role to guide and motivate him in the workplace.

Heinrich is of the opinion that there are ample training opportunities for cellar assistants in the wine industry, but opportunities should be used and that does not always happen. He also believes that cellar assistants will benefit from visits to overseas cellars.

Heinrich believes that the Winetech study groups and the SA Cellar worker Programme changed people’s perception of him and that his colleagues and friends talk to him about challenges they experience.

He believes that the Winetech study groups make a huge contribution to cellar assistants’ knowledge. He describes the study groups as “hands- on” and is looking forward to learn more about blending, stabilisation and legal aspects influencing the production of wine.

His dream is to work in an overseas cellar during harvest time and to become an assistant winemaker in the future. His message to fellow cellar assistants in the industry is that one should always be positive and that one should believe in oneself. He also believes that one should do more than what is expected and to always go the extra mile. Heinrich is focussed to achieve his goals and to broaden his knowledge.