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OUR PEOPLE

Spioenkop Wines is a partnership of several Belgian shareholders, namely

•  Koen Roose & Hannelore Vandenaweele

•  Damien Fontaine

•  Pieter Cloet

•  Jacques Bughin

•  Family Dobbelaere

 

Koen and Hannelore

 

 

Damien Fontaine

Damien has always had a passion for quality wines since teenage years; he grew up partly in the Alsace region where his granddad taught him to appreciate good local wines. A professional experience in California allowed him to pay numerous visits to the Napa Valley, the Sonoma Valley and more remote wine regions such as Oregon, Washington State and Chile. Damien happened to meet Koen in a common quest for quality South African wines and he suggested buying a piece of land in Elgin Valley together, which became Spioenkop Wines. His ‘motto’: Life is too short to drink cheap wines!  

Damien is executive director at a Belgian stockbroker firm known as “Petercam”.

 

 

Pieter Cloet

"Pieter Cloet, (Belgian) partner in the challenging "Spioenkop" project, a funny and green investment full of passion, belief and respect for the noble fruits of the South African terroir !!!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacques Bughin

Jacques, here with new born kids of one year, eagerly travelled to South Africa in 2009 to make sure his and Nathalie's kids will get to know the wine and the Spioenkop feeling. Jacques is an international management consultant, working for McKinsey for 20 years, as well as an academic fellow in economics. He has worked in South Africa before, helping major companies in media, in telecommunications, and in high-tech.  He is also a trustee of the Lessons for Life foundation, a philanthropic foundation which goal is to advance the provision of quality education to vulnerable children, particularly those affected by HIV and AIDS, in Sub-Saharan Africa through responsible partnerships.

 

His view is that a day without a good wine is a lost day, and a fortiori a day without a great wine. While Jacques got lucky enough to taste such great wines, from Sassicaia, to Petrus, or all DRC wines, making his life already a happy life, Jacques got interested in the Spioenkop project through friends, for three reasons. Firstly, wine making is as intellectual and creative as his current work.  Secondly, wine making requires patience, a quality that great wines naturally embody, and that is at odds with the intensity and speed of his current work. Thirdly, but not the least, the project to make not normal, but ambitious wines in a fantastic country such as South Africa, with a bunch of friends, really appealed to him. A journey to transform grapes into wine is as exciting as the alchemy of making gold.  With a key difference: we can drink it and enjoy a full life.

 

 

 

LATEST NEWS

ABOUT THE BATTLE OF SPIOENKOP

Over 100 years ago, on the evening of Tuesday 23 January 1900, 1 700 British troops deployed to South Africa prepared to attack their enemies on a hill in Natal known as Spionkop – the name ‘Spioenkop’, meaning ‘Spy Hill’ or 'Lookout Hill', was coined by the Dutch settlers for the commanding views it afforded of the slopes and valley below. During the days that followed, a bloody battle ensued... Read more

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