As the daughter of a soil scientist, Annelie Viljoen has always been drawn to the outdoors. After graduating with a BSs Hons in Oenology and Viticulture from Stellenbosch University, Annelie pursued her love of the outdoors by becoming a viticulturist, preferring the vineyards to a career in the cellar.
Before joining the Fleur du Cap team, Annelie was the viticulturist and grape buyer for Zonnebloem, viticulture lecturer at Elsenburg, and was viticulturist at Lanzerac and Lourensford. Proving her passion and determination for excellence, she is a past winner of the Winetech/Vinpro vineyard block competition for two consecutive years in 2005 and 2006.
Annelie is the perfect fit for Fleur du Cap’s philosophy of Regional Excellence. Being in the enviable position of crafting wines from the pick of the crop in diverse regions of the Western Cape, Annelie selects vineyard sites that best express the sought after flavour profiles and sense of place in the wines.
“One of our biggest advantages at Fleur du Cap is that we are able to hand select the best fruit from several different terroirs spanning across the Western Cape coastal region. Areas include Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Durbanville, Franschoek, Wellington, Elgin, Gansbaai, Robertson, Malmesbury, Perdeberg, Riebeeck Kasteel, Darling and Lutzville,” says Annelie, who hand selects the vineyards for their varying soil types and micro-climates to make wines that express their true varietal character.
This philosophy of Regional Excellence and affinity with nature, allowing the wines to express the character inherent in the grapes themselves, set Fleur du Cap apart with richly layered wines of great complexity and finesse. True to their origins, these wines bring a rich tapestry of flavours to life.
As Viticulturist for Fleur du Cap at Die Bergkelder, Annelie plays an integral role in the winemaking process, working side by side with producers providing technical assistance and ensuring that the highest standards are maintained to produce the finest quality grapes. Preserving the unique natural heritage and diversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom is in the nature of the Fleur du Cap grape producers, who all have full Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) accreditation.
All Fleur du Cap wines proudly carry the South African Sustainability Seal, an initiative of Sustainable Wine South Africa issued by the South African Wine and Spirit Board as an endorsement of the wine’s integrity and commitment to sustainable winemaking.
Annelie’s extensive experience in planning and tending vineyards, giving advice on a wide range of issues from managing climate change to the health of the soils, irrigation, pruning, canopy management and harvesting, positions Annelie as the ideal viticulturist to source grapes from diverse areas.
Her international travels to leading wine regions including France, Portugal, Spain, California, Australia and New Zealand have also given her immense insight that is helpful in her job. On the academic front, she has lectured at the Elsenburg Agricultural College where she helped develop the viticulture degree course for third-year students.
When Annelie is not in the vineyards or tending to her three boys, she can be found experimenting with different food and wine pairings along with her husband, De Wet Viljoen, winemaker at Neethlingshof Estate.