meet our winemakers

Winemaker | Nicky Claasens

“My journey towards the art of winemaking was inspired by my father and guided by Jan Boland Coetzee. Through his patience and with his mentorship I have started my journey, exploring the diversity of Stellenbosch, the haunting beauty of Pinot Noir and the elegance and refinement of Chardonnay.

My journey has taken me to France to refine my skill with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. I have travelled to the heart of British Columbia to savour different nuances of Pinot Noir and to gain experience with delicate white varietals.
Yet I know that my journey has just begun, many different horizons await me in the future as I explore my art, but I know for a fact that my heart resides at the foot of the Stellenbosch mountain, at Vriesenhof.”

Cellar master | Jan ‘Boland’ Coetzee

“Stellenbosch has always inspired me. It’s where I was educated, learned the great game of rugby, started a family and made many friends. It is also where I have come to fulfil my passion and fascination for the noble art of winemaking.

It all began in 1980 when I purchased the farm Vriesenhof in the Paradyskloof Valley. Together with my team, I set about cultivating plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, pinotage and Pinot Noir. Today these plantings produce
a very diverse range of wines under the label of Vriesenhof.

I’ve always believed that one’s footsteps must be in the soil, you must understand the soil, the plant and the climate.”