The feminine finesse behind the fine wines of De Toren


August 3 – The harvesters and winemakers of De Toren Private Cellar play a vital role in the estate’s world-class wines. The permanent vineyard and cellar team are 60% women, and women also hold key management positions. It’s an unusual statistical bias for the wine industry, but for De Toren – who boldly embraces innovation – being an exception to the rule is all in a day’s work.

De Toren, a winery specializing in luxurious, world-class Bordeaux-style wines, is located on the Polkadraai Hills in Stellenbosch, Cape Town. Beyond its outstanding female team, the estate also boasts other industry firsts, such as being the first to plant and produce blends of five Bordeaux-style varietals in South Africa and the first to introduce a winery. gravity fed.

Recognizing the finesse that women bring to the vineyard and the production process is an integral part of De Toren’s philosophy, but during Women’s Month the glasses are raised to celebrate their contribution.

“It’s such a pleasure to be associated with a field where scientific and practical innovation is still a topic of discussion. Enthusiasm is not lacking at De Toren when it comes to producing wine in a quest for perfection! says Charelle van den Berg, Brand Manager.

The choice to employ all-female pickers and winemakers is also practical: De Toren believes that because women have smaller hands with a slightly softer touch, their work is more meticulous and delicate. The field has stuck to this theory for over 20 years and, as the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating of it. De Toren has been ranked among South Africa’s top 10 red wine producers by the South African Wine Index, and their De Toren Z and Fusion V wines have been awarded an incredible 4.5 star rating by Platter’s Wine Guide.

De Toren’s all-female wine team is led by Johanna Paulse, Fransiena Radloff and Wilma Riet. This respected trio is responsible for executing all single-tier viticultural practices, from pruning to harvest, as well as training contractors and managing the in-house team. Paulse, Radloff and Riet ensure that De Toren’s exceptional standards are always met.

In the winery, the quality controllers Rochelle and Christine Scheffers are highly appreciated for their thoroughness in sorting, especially during the busy harvest season. Outside of the harvest season, this duo takes care of the bottling, labelling, individual packaging of the wines and the elaborate personalized packaging of De Toren boxes and gift boxes.

In addition to the dynamic team on the harvest and cellar side, women also hold key management positions at De Toren. These include brand manager, Charelle van den Berg; marketing manager Mariëtte van Tonder; Guest Relations Manager, Marizaan Beukes; Head of reception, Else-Marie Muller; and the financial manager, Nicolette du Preez. De Toren does not hesitate to raise his glass to the power of women in the workplace; after all, they play a vital role in maintaining the domain’s world-class status.


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