“I very much enjoy the harvest time. It’s a great time of year when the grapes are coming in, and you are jumping into tanks and shovelling them out and getting down and dirty. I really enjoy the physical side of the job; that’s really where I love to be.”
Following a BSc in viticulture and oenology at Stellenbosch University, Alex headed straight to Chile for four months to do a harvest in Maipú, then to Spain for the first of two stints in Penedès and Priorat. It was here that he was introduced to the concept of fine wine being made from small batches of grapes.
This led him to De Trafford winery for the 2004 vintage, during which he met the new owners of the neighbouring property now known as Keermont Vineyards. Fortunately they were looking for someone to help them plant vineyards to supply grapes to the cellars in the area and he was offered a job. Fast-forward to the present day and they now make about 50 to 60 000 bottles of wine a year at Keermont Vineyards, with the wines receiving accolades in the likes of The Wine Advocate, Decanter magazine, Vineous.com, and Tim Atkin MW’s annual review of the South African wine industry.
When he’s not with his family or at work, he will be driving the length of coast to find good waves to surf, fishing at the mouth of the Breede River, or happily turning a chop on the braai with some good music playing and a glass of interesting wine in hand.