In the last 22 years I have been involved in so many different aspects of the industry from sales, winemaking, bottling, labelling, and driving forklifts to washing the farm dog and babysitting the kids! I love the fact that the wine industry keeps on changing and evolving with no two vintages being the same. I am extremely proud to be part of this passionate team as we create fond memories for all whom connect with Brookdale Estate.
I am known as Ampie to all, and I’ve worked in the vineyards for 30years. When I came to Brookdale it was run down with overgrown vines with a virus. It saddened me to see it uprooted and I was determined to bring the Brookdale vines back to life. I look at vines like my children as a parent rears and nurtures their children. I love what I do and enjoy sharing my knowledge with others, seeing them lifted in spirit and knowledge.
I came to South Africa many years ago from Zimbabwe and fell in love with the unusual plants and diversity of the fynbos floral kingdom. The landscape of the Cape Winelands is vastly different from the agriculture where I grew up, and it’s fuelled my passion to work with new plants and gardens, learning what makes them thrive and how to care for them. I hope you enjoy the world we have created and continue to quite literally grow.
I have always been someone who shrugs off labels when it comes to my cooking style. I have spent many years working as a private chef as well as managing kitchens across the country, and as a result I enjoy cooking – period. No specific styles, no single ingredients. Thoughtful food – that’s my philosophy – health, wellness and balance in both flavour and nutrition.
The opportunity to come to Brookdale Estate was serendipitous for myself and my husband, Gary. Here I have found a place to create something new based on my experiences with Singita and a decade of working for Sol Kerzner, discerning clientele, while feeding my passion for personalised experiences and exceptional moments. This is a journey of a lifetime, and I am loving the ride.
I am one of just a handful of female winemakers in South Africa, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. If I could, I would have roots and grow along the vines. I am here to set an example of the magic that happens when you have passion, are true to yourself, explore your boundaries and push the limits. I am here to disrupt and innovate, and create exceptional wines while I do it.
I have set out to create a playground for the curious and a space for experimentation. Our varietals are unusual, our location is outside of the well-known, and our approach is rather unconventional. Brookdale’s wines will be a product of passion, of thought, of the freedom to be creative and of remarkable attention to detail and quality. I couldn’t be more excited.