The Winemaking Team at Diemersfontein

Having such a young and enthusiastic team on board, with an obvious passion for winemaking, a fresh approach has been brought to the cellar and our making of wine...

Francois Roode and Brett Rightford assisted by Klaas Windvogel and Anna Pietersen, make up the team responsible for making the wines at Diemersfontein. Francois was born and raised on the edge of the Namibian desert, so when moving to Cape Town the lush Cape winelands stole his heart. Studying viticulture at Elsenburg established a firm grounding, but "it was the wine that I felt myself drawn to", explains Francois. Starting out at Perdeberg Cellars with the emphasis on technical logistics, Francois moved to Diemersfontein in 2003 where he was able to take on the more creative side of winemaking. "Having control over vineyards and being able to make wine in smaller quantities allows us the freedom to experiment", comments Francois.

Brett on the other hand was brought up in Cape Town, attended Rondebosch Boys High and qualified as a horticulturist at Cape Technikon. " While working in Wellington (the largest nursery for vines in South Africa) as a horticulturist, I developed an affinity for vines and met my wife to be. Having an adventurous spirit, it was a natural step to take on the challenges of winemaking," explains Brett. He went on to work at Jordan Winery where he developed a feeling for both the technical and artistic aspects of winemaking. Realizing that he needed a deeper knowledge of all things vinous, Brett went back to study under Loftie Ellis at Elsenburg. While studying I was fortunate to make wine on the Groenberg area in Wellington, which allowed me to gain a feeling for the area and the fantastic potential that is locked-up in its soils, people and vineyards!

Making reference to the fact that both Francois and Brett fall under the Gemini sign astronomically, they are referred to as 'the twins' by the rest of the Diemersfontein staff.

Diemersfontein Wine and Country Estate