I was born and raised in the rural town of Worcester, which is situated in the Breede River Valley, a premium wine growing region in South Africa. Even though I was exposed to vineyards and the culture of wine from a young age, my interest in wine was only sparked in 2001, when I joined a Cape Town based touring company that specialized in wine tours for backpackers.
My passion for wine intensified, and in 2002 I was offered a position in the tasting room at Villiera Wines in Stellenbosch. I also worked two harvests in their cellar and during this time I completed the Cape Wine Academy Certificate Course. I started lecturing for the Cape Wine Academy in 2004, and in 2007 completed the Cape Wine Academy Diploma Course. In 2012 I qualified as a Cape Wine Master and received the Groenland Wines Award for the top viniculture student. The topic of my dissertation was: Rise of the Dragon – the Chinese Wine Market. In 2017 I completed the Van Rijn’s Advanced Brandy Course, and received the Top Student Award.
Since 2006 I’ve worked in various fields in the wine industry, ranging from logistics to sales and marketing, for brands like MAN Family Wines, Oldenburg Vineyards, Delheim Wines and Kanonkop Estate. Through my work I’ve had the opportunity to travel internationally to sell and market wine, and countries I’ve visited include Angola, Belgium, Botswana, China, England, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Lesotho, Namibia, Nigeria, South Korea, Taiwan and Uganda,
I continue to be actively involved with wine judging and wine education. Since 2012 I’ve served on numerous wine judging panels for the likes of Veritas, SA Young Wine Show, SAA Wine Awards, Muscadel SA, Cape Port Producer’s Association, Classic Wine Magazine, Wineland Magazine, Paarl Wine Challenge and the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards.
From 2014 – 2020 I served as the Communications Officer and Secretary for the Institute of Cape Wine Masters.
In 2021 I embarked on my own business venture, Raydius (Pty) Ltd., focusing on website and e-commerce design tailored for the wine- and spirits industry.