Biodynamically farmed Helderberg estate Waterkloof has appointed Nadia Barnard as its winemaker.
After matriculating from Bloemhof High School in Stellenbosch, Nadia followed her dream of becoming a winemaker and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture (BSc Agric) specialising in Viticulture & Oenology from the University of Stellenbosch.
Always in search of a challenge, Nadia has had an eclectic training as a winemaker with experience in many top Cape and international wineries, including Vergelegen and Flagstone; Balnaves of Coonawarra, a small family-owned wine company in South Australia; Koru Wines and Moutere Hills in New Zealand; and Domaine La Roche in the Rhône valley in France, where she gained valuable knowledge in terroir variation and the crafting of diverse wine styles.
“A combination of destiny and good judgement brought me to the wine industry and ultimately to Waterkloof," Nadia says, "and it is here where I have learned the true aspects of quality vines and wines and realised that to live and work in harmony with nature is to acknowledge, respect and promote its intrinsic value.
“I firmly believe in the biodynamic and organic philosophies of Waterkloof. I have been here since the cellar opened in 2009, and today, after five years here as assistant winemaker, I can truly say I know every square inch of vineyard like the palm of my hand and the amazing potential that lies within them.
“Sauvignon blanc and shiraz are unequivocally my two most favourite grape varieties to experiment with, and my favourite Waterkloof wine is the Circumstance Syrah 2009, which speaks of elegance and femininity,” shares Nadia, an animal lover who reckons the best time of day at Waterkloof is six in the morning, when the farm comes to life and all its animals rise and shine, eager to get trotting and tilling and take biodynamic farming in their stride.
“Albeit somewhat of a cliché, my winemaking philosophy is one of minimal intervention. Fine wine is made in the vineyards. Just apply meticulous care and guidance, and you can just let the wine make itself.”
Wine, travel and the outdoors are three of her biggest passions. When Nadia is not hard at work she enjoys spending time with friends or exploring the road less travelled on her mountain bike.