Our Team

Gunter Schultz | Wine Maker

Winemaker Gunter Schultz, competently leads the team and inspires everybody to share his long-term vision for the farm through his commitment and physical involvement in the daily activities. He communicates his passion for the wine, the olive oil and the farm as a whole to every member of the personnel through his technical expertise as well as his hands-on attitude in the vineyards, the orchards and the winery.

Gunter was born in Mowbray Cape Town, where his father was the headmaster of SACS Primary. When he was only three months old they moved to Somerset West where his father started Beaumont Primary school. He and his four brothers all grew up in Somerset West and went to Beaumont Primary and Hottentots Holland High School. His mother was sometimes a part-time teacher, but with five sons, she was mostly a full-time mother.

When Gunter could not decide what to study, his father sent him to the army, which was, according to Gunter, “a total waste of time” and he still had no idea of what he wanted to do with his life. He took a gap-year during which he spent a lot of time with his brother Carl at Hartenberg. Gunter speaks of Carl with great respect and affection and who in his words “was always a father figure and mentor to my brothers and myself”. It was then also through Carl’s influence and guidance, that Gunter decided to enrol for the wine making course at Elsenburg in 1995. He completed his course at the end of 1996 and went to work at Paardeberg Co-operative in 1997. During his second year at Elsenburg that he was introduced to his wife Juanita. Gunter is slightly embarrassed when he recalls; “I had just been swimming in the dam with the guys and was covered in mud when Juanita’s brother introduced us and I had the audacity to tell him, there and then, that I was going to marry her!” Wedding bells were, however still a long way off. While he was working at Paardeberg Co-operative he was offered a job at Slaley Cellars in Stellenbosch where he subsequently worked as assistant wine maker for the rest of that year. His adventurous spirit and the need for experience in wine making led him to look for opportunities abroad. Taking his love for surfing into account it is not surprising that in 1998, he left for Australia where he did a harvest at Miranda Wines in the Barossa valley and then travelled and surfed until his visa expired. In the second half of that year, also not surprisingly, he decided to do a harvest at Sonoma Cutrer Vineyards in the Sonoma Valley, California. After having completed the harvest, he joined a friend and together they surfed their way down the Californian coast to Mexico. From there they went to Hawaii where they “just surfed ourselves silly!”

After returning to South-Africa to do a harvest with his brother Carl, at Hartenberg in 1999 he was off to New Zealand for the harvest at Delegats Wine Estate, Auckland. After the harvest, it was surfing and skiing for the remainder of his three month visa.

At this stage Juanita was in England where she worked on the Grand Prix circuit for 18 months. “We were not seeing much of one another” he says rather sheepishly and then adds even more sheepishly; “I suppose that made me think I should apply for a job in South Africa again”.

In 1999 he started working at Morgenhof Estate, from where he went to Waterford Estate in 2001. Strangely enough, Juanita was also working there at the time and they eventually tied the knot in March 2001. Gunter left Waterford in 2004 to become the winemaker at Delaire Estate. In 2007, he applied for and was appointed as winemaker at Kleinood.

Gunter’s passion for wine making is deep and sincere. He strongly believes that oenology and viticulture always have to go hand in hand and that a good wine is made in the vineyard. For this reason he is as dedicated to his vineyards as to the process of creating wine.

He explains his philosophy in this way:
“I am a romantic, as with the great French wines, wine must taste of where it comes from not of what you have done to it. One must always allow yourself to probe deeper and keep asking questions because wine and the art of making wine is never simple and there are no shortcuts. This is why I enjoy being the winemaker at Kleinood,” he says, “because of the very unique terroir one can strive to make a truly honest wine that is at the same time complicated, sophisticated and elegant”

Over and above his passion for wine, Gunter is a dedicated family man and surfer. His love for the sea has been part of him for as long as he can remember. His father loved spear fishing and the boys all learnt to swim at an early age. He started surfing at the age of thirteen and has never stopped. It is his way of having fun, recharging his batteries and clearing his head. He surfed for Boland in 1991, 1992 and 1993. During his army year, he surfed for Defence and since 1994, he has been surfing for Boland again. The now master surfer has also won the Vintners’ Classic several times.

When he is not in the winery or the water Gunter enjoys spending time with Juanita and their children, Anna and Joel.

"I am a romantic – As with the great French wines, wine must taste of where it comes from not of what you have done to it."