*Pictured are JD Pretorius, Samantha O’Keefe and Cape Winemakers Guild Chairman Boela Gerber
Two new winemakers have joined the prestigious Cape Winemakers Guild – Samantha O’Keefe from Lismore Vineyards and JD Pretorius from Steenberg Vineyards.
Samantha O’Keefe, the owner and winemaker of the Greyton-based wine farm, is the 6th woman to be inducted into the Guild. She established Greyton as a new cool-climate wine appelation when she based her winemaking operation there in 2003. Her wines are highly regarded across the globe, with consistently high ratings across her entire wine range reaching top scores of 97/100. For the last 5 years her wines have been on many “Wines of the Year” lists both internationally and within South Africa and have been featured in leading international publications such as Decanter and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. With a BA degree in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley, and extensive experience in business, marketing, and the television industry while working in Los Angeles, O’Keefe brings a diverse skill set to the Guild.
Pretorius, who joins Warwick in Stellenbosch as cellar master after completing his last harvest at Steenberg in May 2019, has had a phenomenal year. In addition to his second Platter’s 5-Star wine, he bagged the Museum Class Sauvignon Blanc Trophy at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, and boasts a 94/100 rating from Tim Atkin for the 5th consecutive year for Steenberg’s Flagship Magna Carta, among his slew of awards. In 2014 Pretorius won the coveted title of Diner’s Club Young Winemaker of the Year for his Steenberg Merlot. In addition to producing world class wines, Pretorius is very involved in the wine industry and has represented the sector on numerous platforms locally and abroad.
Membership of the Guild is by invitation only and is extended to winemakers who have been responsible for the production of outstanding wines for a minimum of five years, and who continue to do so.