Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Andy Watts Wellington’s Business Man of the Year

Issued by DKC - De Kock Communications
Andy Watts Business Man 
Andy Watts, Executive Mayor of Drakenstein Municipality Councillor Gesie van Deventer, Policeman of the Year Piet Koordom, and Albertus Buckle, chairman of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce

Making history yet again, Andy Watts, master distiller and a resident of Wellington, has been named Wellington’s Business Man of the Year, only two weeks after receiving the town’s recognition and being named Wellingtonian of the Year. It is the first time in the 30-year history of the two awards that the same person has received both in the same year.

Watts received the award from the Wellington Business Chamber who recognises and rewards individuals who have made a significant contribution to the Wellington business community.

As master distiller of the foremost whisky distillery in Africa, Watts has pioneered whisky-making in this country and in doing so has promoted the town throughout the world with the many awards and accolades the distillery and the whiskies made there (Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky and Three Ships) have garnered over the years.

“When I came to Wellington as a 21-year-old, I couldn’t have dreamt that I would make this town my home and build a career here. But for the past 30 years I have been fortunate to play a part in promoting the prosperity of the town. It certainly isn’t the same town nor is the distillery the same as it was back then. Since 1994 I have shared the vision of architect Chris de Hart to turn the distillery into the beautiful landmark it is today. We have also introduced technology that allows us to compete against the very best in the world and increased our capacity to meet the growing demand for the whiskies we produce.

“Our successes certainly didn’t come easily or without challenges. But we never compromised on our vision for the distillery nor the important role it plays in the town and to its people. Being involved in and marketing our town through our whisky is something I do with pride.”

Andy Watts Business Man
Tommie Moolman (Businessman of the Year 2013), Andy Watts and Dawie Roodt, the Efficient Group

Born in Barnsley in England, Watts came to South Africa as a professional cricketer in 1982 and while playing cricket for Boland and coaching the Hugenote Primary and High School teams, he met his future wife and decided to make Wellington his home. He not only had to get to know a new country and culture but quickly had to learn to speak Afrikaans. He found a position at the then Stellenbosch Farmers’ Winery in Paarl and in 1991 was transferred to The James Sedgwick Distillery as manager. An intensive sixth-month training programme at Morrison Bowmore Distillers in Scotland  led to Watts returning to South Africa and becoming the country’s first master distiller.