Francois grew up in the coastal town of Jeffreys Bay.  From a young age he was always intrigued by the beauty of nature and all its complexities, and thus led him to study forestry in George.

It was there where he became intrigued by winemaking through his roommate’s family’s involvement in the wine industry.  After his studies he did an extended 6-month harvest stint at Slanghoek cellar in Rawsonville followed by another 6-month tenure at the famous Kendall-Jackson wine estate in California.

Upon returning to SA, Francois completed his wine studies at Elsenberg while working a harvest at Koelenhof where he met his current day mentor Beyers Truter.  Known as the “Pinotage King” of South Africa, he played a profound role in evoking a deep love and understanding of the Pinotage grape varietal within him.

Throughout his career, Francois has received multiple awards including 6 trophies at the ABSA Top 10 Pinotage competition, 4 SA Champion Pinotage awards at the SA Wine show, as well as Double Gold medals at the Veritas Awards and Michelangelo Wine & Spirit Awards.