Wine maker, Izele Van Blerk, hails from one of the largest wineries in South Africa, KWV. Her journey on how she joined the wine making industry is somewhat surprising. She was training to become a professional tennis player in USA on a tennis scholarship and an injury led her back to South Africa, where she studied wine making. She has a Bsc. Degree in Viticulture and Oenology from Stellenbosch and other diplomas and experiences including passing the Michael Fridjhon Tasting Academy Exam with distinction.
The successful wine maker from KWV Cathedral Cellar, has won various accolades for her expertise in wine tasting, becoming a world-class taster. She started at KWV as an intern and moved up the ladder to where she is today. Her expertise in tasting has led her to become a judge in various competitions including Veritas, the Oscars of South African Wine and the National Young Wine Show.
Her mantra, ‘Expect The Unexpected’, keeps her motivated and stimulated in the wine making business. Her love for wine started at an early age while growing up since she spent all her time in two places, the tennis court and the vineyard (her father was in viticulture). Tasting is one of her passions and she attributes her tremendous wine making skills to being an excellent taster. She believes that the difference between and good and an excellent wine maker, boils down to tasting. She believes that as a wine maker you have to taste your wine to understand what you need to improve.
Some of the wines from KWV include: KWV Cathedral Cellar Sauvignon Blanc 2012 which embodies a ripe stone fruit and honey, it is quite sophisticated, medium bodied and classy. They also have the Laborie Sauvignon Blanc 2013, which is named after one of the farms owned by KWV. This is a light bodied wine, which harbors asparagus and herbal aromas and is tasty.
Here’s the amazing news, Izele, will be at three wine and food parings happening in Nairobi and this is your chance to experience her extraordinary skills. The pairings will encompass five course menus accompanied by different wines. They will be happening at Mdalasini Restaurant at Heron Portico, Monikos Kitchen and Tokyo Restaurant from 1st to 3rd September from 7 pm till late. Tickets can be purchased at the specific restaurants and at the Slater and Whittaker office.