After finishing High School in Robertson, I enrolled at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to study Agriculture. The course included a year and a half of studies at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch. It was at Elsenburg that I was exposed to vineyard practices and winemaking which ignited my passion and love for what I can now call my own business and occupation. A custodian of the earth I am blessed to farm, grow the grapes and turn my passion into wine. After I completed my studies I travelled to America and worked in Santa Rosa, California, making up small parcels of wine with my hands on approach, Several years later I made the same trip through Burgundy and Champagne in France.
The more one sees and experiences, the more a person can learn. Different people, different cultures all enjoying good food and excellent wine and simply enjoying and living life to the fullest .. well that’s part of my venture . We must live this life with a passion because life is a journey and the destination is what we make of it.
I was one of the more fortunate people in that I could return to our family farm as a fifth generation farmer. I decided to make it a challenge and became the first generation winemaker to make his own wine on this farm. The year 2004 was the beginning of new and better things. My dad, Frikkie van der Westhuizen, permitted me to select small parcels of grapes from his old Shiraz and Chardonnay vineyards. This gave me the opportunity to begin Arendsig Handcrafted wines. In the very same year my dad gave me an untouched part of the farm – on the slopes (all virgin soils). We worked for 4 months to prepare these soils, we knew this would be the future of Arendsig wines.
There was no soil but rocks!!!! Our goal was to make single vineyard wines, from single vineyards of exceptional quality. My own wines are all from one specific Block and are expressed by the Terrior.