In what’s described as a breath of fresh air, Mathilda Viljoen has joined Slanghoek Winery, becoming the first woman winemaker in the cellar’s 63-year history.
Raised in the small Overberg town of Bredasdorp, Viljoen studied at Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute and gained experience locally at Simonsvlei as well as Jordan Winery in California’s Sonoma Valley before joining Mooiplaas Estate near Stellenbosch as winemaking assistant three years ago.
An outdoor enthusiast, Viljoen is in her element in Slanghoek Valley, with its rugged scenery and burgeoning association with mountain biking.
Joining her on the production team is new red-wine maker Werner du Plessis.
Also an Elsenburg graduate, Montagu-born Du Plessis assisted at Stellenbosch’s Hazendal Estate before moving to Creation Wines in Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, where he completed three crushes before transferring to Slanghoek.