Martin Moore

Cellarmaster
Durbanville Hills Cellar
Known for his charismatic personality and storytelling, cellarmaster Martin Moore is as much part of the Durbanville Hills Winery as the contours of the hills surrounding the cellar. He joined Durbanville Hills in 1998 while the cellar was still under construction and since then has played a pivotal role in shaping the wines produced here.

Known for his charismatic personality and storytelling, cellarmaster Martin Moore is as much part of the Durbanville Hills Winery as the contours of the hills surrounding the cellar. He joined Durbanville Hills in 1998 while the cellar was still under construction and since then has played a pivotal role in shaping the wines produced here.

He firmly believes the hills determine which wines are released under the Durbanville Hills label, underscoring his winemaking philosophy that wines are made in the vineyards.  e result is a range of wines that perfectly captures the area's varied and unique terroir.

"It is easy to produce wines here," he says. "Everything is in our favour - great soil, enough rain, hills and slopes facing the right way making them suitable to a variety of cultivars, and a wonderfully cool climate that allows the grapes to ripen slowly thus capturing a range of flavours."

Known for his charismatic personality and storytelling, cellar master Martin Moore is as much
part of the Durbanville Hills Winery as the contours of the hills surrounding the cellar. He joined
Durbanville Hills in 1998 while the cellar was still under construction and since then has played a pivotal role in shaping the wines produced here.

He firmly believes the hills determine which wines are released under the Durbanville Hills label, underscoring his winemaking philosophy that wines are made in the vineyards. The result is a range of wines that perfectly captures the area’s varied and unique terroir.

“It is easy to produce wines here,” he says. “Everything is in our favour – great soil, enough rain, hills and slopes facing the right way making them suitable to a variety of cultivars, and a wonderfully cool climate that allows the grapes to ripen slowly thus capturing a range of flavours.”

Martin was attracted to winemaking whilst growing up in Worcester, spending many a weekend on a farm - attentively watching vineyards coming into production and wine being produced at a small winery. But he says that during his army days he drank everything but wine!

He enjoys eating and cooking and has had the privilege of cooking with a number of chefs over the years. He says his most serious cooking was prompted by hunger as a student. At university he and his roommate would miss supper due to rugby practice, and not in the mood for cold left-overs, they locked themselves in their room and opened a bottle of wine (they had a letter from their lecturer to say it was part of their winemaking curriculum, in case they were caught) and cooked on a two-plate stove he still owns. His favourite dish was a chicken and tomato casserole. When it comes to food and wine pairing it’s more important for Martin to match the people to the wine than to the food. “I like to take people’s wine preferences into account so that I don’t force them to drink a varietal they don’t enjoy.”

Martin studied viticulture and wine-making at university and expanded his knowledge of white wines under the careful tutorage of KWV’s Willie Hacker. After a spell at Robertson and the world of sweet wines and brandy, he returned to KWV’s head office where he focused on perfecting what lies at the core of every well-balanced wine – the art of blending.

At the age of 27 he was appointed senior cellar master in charge of the KWV’s white, red, fortified and sherry cellars, taking over from Willie on his retirement. It was also Willie who taught him the importance of wine hygiene, and together they did their fair share of cleaning the cellars, shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the work force, on Friday afternoons.
Thereafter Martin produced quality wines at Groot Constantia. The volumes produced were in sharp contrast with the 1,4 million liters he was accustomed to at the KWV.

When Martin is not travelling to all corners of the globe to share the Durbanville Hills range of wines or blending wines in the cellar, you will find him cooking creative dishes at home, always with a glass of Durbanville Hills nearby, or next to a campfire in the Bushveld.