Francois grew up in the world-renowned surfing paradise of Jeffreys Bay, a coastal town situated in the beautiful Eastern Cape province of South Africa.
From a young age was intrigued by the beauty of nature and all its complexities, and this led him to studying Forestry at the Saasveld College in George. It was here where he became intrigued by winemaking through his roommate’s family’s involvement in the industry. After he completed his studies, he came to the realisation that a full time career on a forest plantation was not exactly what he wanted to do.
An extended six-month harvest stint at Slanghoek Cellar in Rawsonville was followed by another six-month tenure at the famous Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate in California in the USA, and needless to say, he was hooked! Upon his return to South Africa, he enrolled for winemaking studies at the Elsenburg College. It was during this period, while working a harvest at the Koelenhof Cellar outside Stellenbosch, where he met his current day mentor, Beyers Truter. Known as the “Pinotage King” of South Africa, he played a profound role in evoking a deep love and understanding of the Pinotage grape varietal within himself.