Handmade the Nitida Way
Although not intentionally award driven, there is no denying the status of this tiny family owned Durbanville cellar.
Strategically we are following a very traditional but personalised approach to making wine. In line with our brand honesty, we don’t try to be clever or practise contrived marketing jargon. We completely believe that beautiful wines come from day to day thoughtful management in the vineyards. So, we spend a disproportionate amount of time checking the small things on a daily basis.
At harvest, although we don’t discount analyses, we pick on the tried and true indicators of flavour and appearance. We pick by hand, allowing us to leave the less perfect bunches for the soil to enrich itself - and before pressing, we again sort the individual grapes by hand.
"We completely believe that beautiful wines come from day to day thoughtful management in the vineyards."
Our bottom line is that, to be part of the Nitida family, requires commitment, passion and a desire to be involved.
Our punch through system, while automated, was designed by the engineer in Bernhard to closely emulate a traditional hand-punch method. Of course we do use modern technology for pressing and pumping, but always seek out the gentlest methods.Wine shop Gallery
How does a small Durbanville property running a flock of 50 sheep, 2 cows and a sheepdog become one of South Africa's most successful small wine cellars?
This type of Cinderella fairy tale only gets written if a few very special ingredients get blended with a number of happy coincidences. So what was our Nitida recipe? First we found a piece of beautiful soil (just “to live on”), we also happened to really fancy drinking good wine. Maybe it helped to be inadvertently perfectly trained for the job of crafting a wine brand (Bernhard is a chemical engineer and Peta was in advertising).
"Now 25 years on, this family owned and run cellar is one of the most consistently awarded and loved boutique wine cellars in South Africa..."
Finally we just had to add some magic ingredients: Peta’s mother, our wonderful "Matriarch" helped us finance the farm; we found a 3-cylinder, 30 kilowatt, semi-derelict 1971 Ford tractor in the shed which we promptly named Pufford and learnt to drive; then there was Klaas, who had worked on the farm for years (he taught us to milk a cow and chase down sheep) and the final essential element was tonnes of energy and wonderful people.
We bought the farm in 1990 and 2 years later, Bernhard took a week off work so he, Klaas and Pufford could plant a couple of vineyards (we intended to make just a few barrels).
There was no way of knowing then that, within 3 years, we would have made our first double-gold Sauvignon Blanc or that by 2001 we would be recognised as a benchmark Semillon producer.
Now 25 years on, this family owned and run cellar is one of the most consistently awarded and loved boutique wine cellars in South Africa with a host of double gold, gold and silver medals, a few 5 star platters and countless awards and certificates, (many of which are on display in the cellar) including being named “Top Producer” at the 2009 Michelangelo International Wine Awards, no mean feat for a cellar with just 11 permanent staff members.
Didn’t sit down long enough to write his own. He is the final approval stamp on everything that happens at Nitida form strategy, wine, blends and water purification to label approvals. Knows a lot about a lot of things ...and annoyingly is seldom wrong.
Unless you know my middle name and shoe size you I am probably not the person you want to contact. I live behind a computer and work on the pretty stuff like labels, parties, websites and brochures. I even make a mean cup of tea.
Besides Bernhard and Peta there are just 9 permanent employees on Nitida
Jacus joined us in 1999 when he assisted Bernhard in the cellar and in the farm management. After 15 great years together, he is very much part of our family and enormously valued. His diploma in winemaking makes him an even more credible brand ambassador. As our most suave Nitida mouthpiece he manages all our National (and some International) sales and distribution.
Klaas has worked on the farm for more than 30 years, even before it was Nitida. This is the guy that looked after the entire farm for us when Bernhard went overseas. He has an excellent eye when it comes to the vineyard and has done his fair share of training the other staff members on how to prune. In the days when we still had the odd 50 sheep on the farm he was our resident shepherd and occasionally had to duck and dive or be attacked by the ram.
Francois & Cheswill
Francois and Cheswill work with Klaas in controlling the vineyards and have worked with us since 2005 and 2014 respectively.
Mannie & Bernette
Our gardens have been lucky enough to fall into the caring hands of “greenfingers” Mannie for over 10 years now very ably assisted by Bernette in all things botanical.
Inga has been with our team since February 2014. With her came a hurricane of fresh air and brilliant initiative coupled with great administrative skills. Add to this wonderful package a superb eye for colour and design and a very good palate and you can see why we think she is quite a catch. Found in daylight hours (and sometimes into dusk and beyond) doing tastings and controlling all of the rest of us.
Assisting Inga in the tasting room is Charlotte who grew up on the farm and has a growing knowledge about wine and an instinct for making our customer's day with her sunny personality.
Danie joined the team from December 2014 as winemaker. Coming from 5 years making wine at Groot Constantia, he brings with him a great love and understanding of working with cool climate grapes. Its a given that he will continue to make stunning wines with us but lets see if his experience in making craft beer becomes part of our future Nitida culture!
New to the Nitida Family, I bring with me a background in hospitality and a passion for wine. I believe that wine is made with love and meant to be enjoyed and shared. I love that I get to introduce our wines to people and help them find their new favourite Favourite!