Goodbyes are never easy. No matter the circumstances. Yet perhaps after an atypical year like 2020, farewells are even harder to bear, as social gatherings and celebrations have been replaced with social distancing and virtual experiences. Yet, regardless of the circumstances, there’s no way the Vriesenhof community could sidestep the departure of their viticultural cornerstone, Nicky Claasens. After 13 years of dedicated and award-winning winemaking, Vriesenhof Winemaker Nicky Claasens and his wife Bettina will be emigrating to Germany to establish new roots. On the news of this move, writer Emile Joubert expressed:                 “Nicky was definitely being touted as a leader among the newer generation of winemakers. Technically sound, he understood his vineyards and the impact of Vriesenhof's geography on the final product. Throw in sharp, understated wit and an opinionated stance on all matters wine, and he is definitely leaving a hole in the South African wine world.”