Interview With A Winemaker – Gielie Beukes

3rd March 2023

Interview With A Winemaker Gielie Beukes

Wine isn’t just made, it’s crafted by the unwavering expertise of a Winemaker, sometimes old traditions are passed down by generations and on other occasions, new people venture into the industry, introducing us to new creations. This series of Winemaker Interviews will help you uncover the vast world and skills of how the artists passionate about wine make the world a bubbly place.

In this article we speak with Gielie Beukes, an amazing Winemaker from Western Cape in South Africa, let’s discover a little about his time in the Wine Industry.

Tell Us About Yourself

“I was born and raised in the Overberg region in the Western Cape in South Africa knowing very little about wine. My parents grew wheat and barley and we had a Merino stud for commercial wool production. My brother and I used to help out after school. It was a very stable environment to be in and we spent all our time outdoors.”

How Did You Become Involved In The Wine Industry?

“When the time came to decide what I would be doing after high school, I knew it would be something that would include being outside so agriculture was a no-brainer. I chose to go into wine rather than engineering and ended up as an ‘engineer of wine’ of sorts. My studies in Stellenbosch only primed me for a life of learning to come and 20 years later, the wine industry has given me so many great experiences and memories. I also met my wife through wine and our everyday lives are pretty much intertwined with everything wine.”

 As A Winemaker, What Has Been Your Hardest Obstacle To Overcome In Producing Wine?

“I think that winemakers are generally problem solvers and if you do not start out as one, you quickly learn to ask the right questions. Wine does not wait for anyone hence the need to be on top of your game 100% of the time. In saying that, the hardest obstacles for me have been internally as an individual with being realistic about the definition of what success includes. We tend to compare other people’s successes with our own and the problem with that is that we forget about the differences in circumstances we all face. Believe in your process, work hard, be relentless in your pursuit and be grateful every day. Success will inevitably follow.”

 How Do You Determine When Your Wine Is Ready To Drink?

“Wine is a very personal thing, so when whoever is drinking my wine in the moment that is a moment of enjoyment and the wine is befitting of that moment, that deems to me to be the perfect time! I hope that anyone should be able to enjoy the wines that I make.”

What Part Of The Wine Making Process Do You Enjoy The Most?

“The most rewarding times are often the most challenging and when the winery is stacked with ferments and the grapes are coming in regardless, then it feels like the anticipation of the work of a year passed is coming to life.”

Thank you Gielie, for sharing your words, knowledge and experience with us and we at Glass of Bubbly wish you the very best for the future!

Images belong to Gielie Beukes. Glass of Bubbly was granted permission to use them.

Oliver Walkey

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.