THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE IT HAPPEN
JD (Johannes Diederick) may be a meticulous winemaker, but that doesn’t mean he can’t rock out. In fact, it’s hard to imagine the cellar without an alt-rock playlist on the go. When he’s going through a Red Hot Chili Peppers phase, you taste it in the wines!
In 2007, JD completed his B.Sc in Viticulture and Oenology at the University of Stellenbosch, before working stints at Beyerskloof Wines and Graham Beck. He also spent a harvest in Sonoma, California. Upon his return, JD worked beneath John Loubser at Steenberg, before joining Warwick in 2019. Here are his thoughts on what makes life worth living:
What is your favourite part of your role at Warwick; that one thing that makes you so excited that you lose track of time? I love vineyards and how they can tell a story about a place. Our role is to translate that into wine, and to do so without changing the meaning too much. Figuring out ways to do this better - and more efficiently - keeps me very busy!
What do you wish for the future of wine in South Africa? I’d love to see South African wines become known for their quality and uniqueness – not just their good value. I wish to provide a sustainable world to all that rely on it for survival, and ultimately to give future generations a better chance of success and prosperity.
What made you interested in joining the Warwick team? Warwick has built up an incredible brand and has always produced very good wines. But the new team and direction of the brand - especially with the acquisition of Uitkyk Wine Estate - gives Warwick the potential to be a true world-leading brand and lighthouse for South Africa. I feel extremely proud and excited to be a part of this!
Christiana von Arnim
Our fearless leader and CEO, Christiana, is our current First Lady and our very own wine enigma. Up front, she’s the business end of the Warwick team, but give her a few minutes and her sense of adventure emerges. She grew up amidst the vines of both Pfalz in Germany (classic Riesling), and Alsace in France (hipster Riesling), but she’d drink Alsace any day of the week. She refuses to choose between Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson, because ‘the classics transcend petty comparison’, and, as a seasoned drone pilot, her dream flight would be straight over the Namib Desert's Sossusvlei.
What is the most important advice you can give someone about wine? Don’t wait for a special occasion to open a bottle of wine. Opening the bottle will create the special occasion.
Just what is it about wine that you find so appealing? Not only does a good glass of wine vastly enhance almost any situation, but it opens up the entire world for you. In addition to the aromas and flavours, you’ll find complex layers of history, topography, soil and climate, rounded off to perfection through the winemaker’s philosophy, creativity and inspiration.
What is your favourite Warwick wine, and what do you love pairing it with? The Blue Lady Cabernet Sauvignon paired with gnocchi, gorgonzola and walnut sauce.
Global Sales & Marketing Manager
Having grown up on a small wine farm in Stellenbosch, wine has been coursing through Tom’s veins from an early age. Not literally, obviously. Tom spent his early years in the wine industry working for UK-based Majestic Wines, before returning home to head up the sales for both Jordan Winery and Vergelegen.
What is the most important advice you can give someone about wine? Never stop tasting!
Just what is it about wine that you find so appealing? How it generally brings everyone together. Wine is always common ground.
What is your favourite part about your role on the Warwick team? Engaging with clients, developing the necessary strategies, and watching them unfold in the market. Product development is a pretty tasty task, too.