Bennie Howard (Veritas), Jan Booysen, Charles Hopkins (Veritas), Henk Bruwer and Riaan Kruger
Photographer: Lionel Besterfield
It has become customary for Veritas to annually highlight the contribution of a handful of industry giants. The Veritas legends are invariably men and women who have retired and whose dedication and enthusiasm has led to the promotion and growth of the local wine and brandy industries.
“Veritas choose to honour living legends with this special award to thank them for their unfailing commitment to the industry,” says Charles Hopkins, chairman of the SANWSA. “The growth of the industry relies on more than wine makers and viticulturists and we like to applaud the greats who have made their mark for the duration of their careers.”
This year five people were nominated to receive the 2013 scroll of honour during the 23rd Veritas Awards ceremony: Jan Booysen, Henk Bruwer, Riaan Kruger, Wouter Pienaar and Matthee van Schalkwyk.
Although Jan Booysen’s career started as researcher, he soon found himself employed as the manager of extension services at KWV, serving on the senior management of KWV for three years from 1993 to 1996. He was also the President of the SA Society of Oenology and Viticulture for two years. In 1996 he joined VinPro as the manager of Consultation Services and was soon after appointed as the Executive Director of Winetech until 2012. He continues to represent the SA wine industry in the International Office of Vine and Wine and has been appointed as Qualified Personality (Technical Advisor to the OIV President) at the OIV until 2015.
Henk Bruwer, owner of the De Hoop farm in Riebeek Kasteel since 1971, has served on the board of directors of various wine industry institutions since the early 80’s. He has been a director of the Riebeek Wine Cellar for 30 years – 17 of which he acted as chairperson. He was the executive chairperson of the Wine Cellars of South Africa organisation for the past 9 years and served on various other wine industry committees, boards and institutions.
Riaan Kruger started his career in 1976 as legal advisor for the KWV. He shared his knowledge with the SA Liquor Brand owners Association (SALBA) for 34 years as their CEO. Riaan was co-founder of the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA) and served on their managing committee for a quarter of a century. He was also instrumental in the creation of WOSA, SAWIS and Winetech and still serve as the chairperson of SAWIS. He was the first person who negotiated with the unions regarding wages when unions were legalised in this industry.
Wouter Pienaar was employed as microbiologist, senior wine buyer and cellar master at Stellenbosch Farmers Winery for 38 years. During his career he served on the executive committee of the SA Society of Oenology & Viticulture for 10 years – two of which as President. Wouter has been acting as judge at various SA wine shows since 1965 and is still an active wine judge. Since his retirement, wineries in Spain, Turkey, Hungary and Portugal and various local cellars have benefitted from his expertise as wine consultant.
Matthee van Schalkwyk’s contribution towards the improvement of the wine quality of Oranje River Wine Cellars has made him a legend in his own right. As chief manager in charge of production, technical planning, quality control and marketing for more than 45 years, Matthee has made great inroads in the creation of high quality products in an area that was traditionally seen as ideal only for distilling wine. Today this cellar wins numerous awards locally and internationally. He also initiated the creation of the Oranje-Vaal Wine Show Association and acted as the chairperson of the show’s technical committee.
Visit www.veritas.co.za for more information or contact Elsabe Ferreira at 021 863 1599, fax 021 863 1552 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.