MEET THE WINE TEAM
Richard Duckitt, the dynamic creator of Brampton wines, believes that winemaking was a natural path for him to follow. Having grown up between the vineyards of the Darling region on the West Coast of South Africa, he was inspired to work with wine grapes from an early age. In fact, Richard and his brother built their own distillery on their family farm when he was still in primary school, laying the foundation for his future career in the wine industry.
After high school he completed a Diploma in Viticulture and Cellar Technology at the Elsenburg Agricultural College near Stellenbosch, before heading off to work in California and later Bordeaux to broaden his global winemaking knowledge and experience. Here he gained an understanding and appreciation for cutting-edge new world viticulture and old world winemaking tradition respectively.
Upon returning to South Africa, he joined the Douglas Green family in 2008 as winemaker of Franschhoek Cellar Wines, where his natural love for tasting and creating led to his appointment as devoted red winemaker at Boschendal Estate in May 2015. He now also harnesses his creative energy on the Brampton range of wines, and identifies strongly with the brand’s philosophy of self-expression and individuality.
Passionate about experimentation, Richard is always busy nurturing small batches of individual noble and lesser known wine varieties in the cellar, and trying out new, inventive blends. Richard loves the spirit of innovation that fires the Brampton brand, a perfect fit for his creative personality. He keenly follows international and local wine industry trends and technology, and tries to balance this with traditional winemaking techniques.
Richard is also an avid amateur cook and loves experimenting with new dishes and cooking for his wife at home. When it comes to his favourite style of food, he loves anything authentic, but also reckons that some of his best culinary creations have been the result of improvising with just the few pantry items at hand. He also loves to read and has eclectic taste in books.
Wine should be approachable and a continuous journey of discovery and learning, Richard believes, that is why he constantly on a mission to taste as many diverse and interesting wines as possible. And this adventurous mindset is something he hopes resonates in every bottle of wine he makes and with those who enjoy it.
As DGB group viticulturist Stephan Joubert is responsible for ensuring the award winning winemaking team is supplied with grapes of exceptional quality. In managing all grower relations and grape buying throughout the Western Cape, he is accountable for all logistics of grape intake ensuring all the grapes are picked at optimum ripeness. Stephan, who studied a BSc.Agric in Winemaking and Viticulture before completing his Honours in Viticulture at the University of Stellenbosch, not only spends time in the vineyards, but can be found in the tasting room with his winemaking colleagues and in the cellar involved with special parcels of grapes intended for top-end wines. “My passion is to understand (and keep on learning) all the influences from the vine to the wine and then to manage these influences whilst assisting in the making of exceptional wines across a variety of styles,” says Stephan.
“My focus is to manage wine flavour in the vineyard and then to focus my expertise on understanding all the terroir influences so that I can source the best grapes from South Africa’s best vineyards. They say wine ‘is made in the vineyard’ and getting to work with grapes from great sites across the Western Cape is an absolute privilege.” Stephan is married with two kids, loves the outdoors and traveling to other African countries