Traditionally a male-dominated industry, Le Grand Domaine winemaker, Debbie Thompson, has proven that she’s a force to be reckoned with. Appointed in early 2020 she has already racked up numerous awards for this boutique brand.

This is only the second wine farm Debbie has worked at, as for the past 20 years, prior to this appointment, she worked at Simonsig under the mentorship of Johan Malan. Being the first female appointed winemaker at the farm, she spent 18 years concentrating mostly on the red wine making, before taking up the post as cellarmaster. Her move to Le Grand Domaine was, as Debbie describes it, a 180 degree move. Moving from a big cellar to a smaller, new cellar came with its own set of challenges. Not forgetting that she had to move away from thinking solely red wine and open her mindset to other varietals. Oh yes, and then also being appointed right at the start of a global pandemic. The latter not what she had in mind, but these are challenges she accepted, tackled them head on and turned these into their own successes.

If there is one must-have ingredient for this festive season, it’s KWV Brandy – a proven leader in taste and quality, with a range of brandies suited to every occasion. Recently, this international icon of drinks outclassed all other distillers at the coveted Veritas Awards when it claimed four Double Golds and one Gold medal. The epitome of these, was the competition’s first ever, perfect 100-points for any product, awarded to KWV’s 15 Year Alambic Blend Potstill Brandy.

SA’s first wine route headlines international sommeliers derby

The 2021 Stellenbosch Wine Routes Ubuntu Sommelier Trophy, an epic clash between team South African Sommeliers Association (SASA) and team Sommeliers Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ), saw the former soaring to its first victory.

This was the second time in Africa that some of South Africa’s best sommeliers attempted to prize the title of supreme champion from rival Zimbabwe in a live, online derby held on 13 December at the renowned Lanzerac Hotel & Spa.


Journey’s End Vineyards, the boutique winery and vineyard situated on the mountain slopes above Sir Lowry’s Pass Village in the Helderberg basin, has some exciting news to share. Managing Director, Rollo Gabb says, “We are delighted to launch our very first sparkling wine, a Brut Reserve Cap Classique - just in time for Christmas - to celebrate Journey’s End’s 25th anniversary and 50 years of Cap Classique production.”