Meet Bowen Botha, Cellar Master, Robertson Winery
Cellar Master, Bowen Botha’s contribution to the South African wine industry, which spans almost five decades is surely one of Robertson Winery’s key advantages. Not dissimilar to the winery’s own humble beginnings, Bowen’s academic career began at a small farm school where he grew up in Northern Limpopo, close to the Botswana border. He finished High School in Hopefield on the West Coast as Head Boy and went on to complete a BSc in Microbiology, Chemistry and Genetics at the University of Pretoria.
After university, Bowen worked as a winemaker at Perdeberg Winery from 1972, until joining Robertson Winery in 1982. At the time, Robertson Winery were mainly producing distilling and rebate wine for brandy distillation – only 5% was made into dry white wine which was sold in bulk.
Since then, Bowen has played a significant role in Robertson Winery’s history. In 1985 he transformed the cellar from distillation to table wine production, vineyards were replanted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Pinotage Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, cellar equipment was changed and red wine production was introduced.
In the late 1980’s, the winery, formerly known as ‘Robertson KOOP’, entered into a distribution agreement with Vinimark, which later became a partnership resulting in the company known as Robertson today.
During this time, Bowen’s previous positions have included Cellar Master of Robertson KOOP and acting MD of Robertson Winery.
As one of South Africa’s most passionate winemaker’s, Bowen’s influence on the country’s wine industry has been far-reaching. He has served as a member on the following wine industry boards: Wine Cellars SA, Vinpro, Wosa, SAWIS, Wine Tech, Technical Committee Wine and Spirits Board and Robertson Wine Valley.
We believe wine making is a natural process. Since different styles of wine vary greatly in their soil and climatic requirements, our accomplished cellar master, Bowen Botha, believes that the desired style should determine the choice of vineyard. Adhering to a philosophy of minimal handling and gentle pressing in order to capture the natural flavours of the fruit in the wine, Bowen and his inspired team of winemakers gently guide the transformation process to craft wines of exceptional quality and individuality.
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