When Jimmy Albertyn, at the ripe age of 81, recently tipped his harvest of chenin blanc grapes at Perdeberg Winery, he did so for the 50th time. While many of Perdeberg’s producer shareholders are second or third generation to supply from the same soil, oom (uncle) Jimmy is the first to have done so in his own right.
“I can’t believe I’m at my 50th harvest already!” says Jimmy, as he ponders and stares into the distance, and later adds with a slight chuckle: “Am I that old already? Oh well, either way, even after all these years, I am still proud to be delivering to Perdeberg.”
Born and bred in Constantia, he spent his earlier years at Wynberg Boys High and then attended Elsenburg College. Jimmy’s father, Louis Kasper, nicknamed “Kappie”, was an export table grape farmer who decided to take Jimmy out of Elsenburg College and teach him the art of growing table grapes.
Soon Jimmy was thriving in the table grape farming industry and he also ventured into pig farming. The pigs were unfortunately not welcome in Constantia and authorities made such a stink that Jimmy had to move and continue elsewhere.
In 1962, aged 30, Jimmy moved to a farm called Hou Moed ("Keep Faith") in Agter Paarl to continue his pig farming. However, he found he also had to adapt to wine grape farming, as these were being cultivated on the farm. And so it was that, in 1963, Jimmy harvested his first wine grapes which were delivered to Perdeberg Winery.
In 1985, Jimmy bought the adjacent 60ha farm, Uitkyk, which was cultivated with dryland bushvine chenin clanc. He sold Hou Moed in 1996.
Jimmy, when asked about future plans, just smiles and, with typical dry humour, suggests that like any good batsman he will carry on towards his 100th.
Perdeberg Winery’s management, board and shareholders raise a glass of their very best chenin to toast oom Jimmy, with the following message: “Well done! You are a great example of the commitment we share for producing consistent quality year after year.”