Meet the Wine Cellar Team

Meet the team

James Pietersen


James, CEO of, was enticed into the world of wine while studying law at the University of Stellenbosch. An encounter with some Château Lynch-Bages 1982 led to an epiphany and a life-long journey in wine ensued. His 25 years of experience in the SA wine industry includes retail, wine buying and working as Head Sommelier for a leading restaurant group. As a professional wine taster, he also has experience with Platter’s Wine Guide (since 2007),, Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, and as Panel Chair for the Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Challenge. Few pundits taste more wines than him.

What’s James drinking this month?

Trizanne, Sondagskloof White 2022

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Jolette Steyn

Head of Sales and Imports

Jolette is a career wine geek and deeply passionate about diversity and sustainability. Before heading up sales and buying our imports in 2021, she managed the Fine Wine Sales and Privé imports portfolio here at Wine Cellar. She studied BSc and MSc in Oenology and Viticulture in SA and Europe, produced wine across four continents with 15 harvests under her belt, judges on local and international panels and can sell you a wine in at least 4 languages. In her spare time, Jolette makes wine under her own label, The Vineyard Party, with the maiden vintage of two small-batch Sémillons released in June 2021.

What’s Jolette drinking this month?

Marengo,Dolcetto d'Alba 2022

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Johan Malan

Brokerage and Investments

Johan holds a MCom in International Trade from North West University’s School of Economics. After finishing high school, Johan spent a year on a wine farm where he had hands-on experience in the harvesting, farming, cellaring and sales of wine. He was also able to travel to many wine farms and it was during this time that his passion for wine began. He has experience in international fruit trade, while trading in fine SA wine was a hobby for him. In 2018, Johan joined Wine Cellar to manage and grow Wine Cellar’s investment and brokerage business. He is invaluable to the Wine Cellar team, and his colleagues can always rely on him for a good joke.

What’s Johan drinking this month?

Du Retout, Haut-Médoc 2020

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Lauren Segers

Procurement and Wine Sales

Lauren found her way into the world of wine after completing a triple major at UCT in Environmental & Geographical Sciences, Film and Sociological Sciences. It was while working at a restaurant on a local wine farm that she fell in love with the process of winemaking. She traveled to the States and worked as an assistant sommelier while continuing to self-study through the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), Windows on the World and Guild of Sommelier books. A standout wine moment for Lauren was the day she had a Krug tasting. After that, wine was the only thing on her mind. Lauren joined the Wine Cellar team through our Skills Challenge Internship program, and today her role focuses on SA wine procurement and sales.

What’s Lauren drinking this month?

Keet, First Verse 2020

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Stefan van der Merwe

Cellaring Operations & Logistics Manager

Stefan found his love for the wine industry while studying agriculture. After furthering his studies in winemaking, he ventured into wine exports and logistics. Stefan has acquired more than 10 years of experience in the SA wine industry and brings a wealth of knowledge to Wine Cellar. He oversees our cellaring operations and ensures that the strict storage conditions are always met. For any enquiries relating to storage accounts and private cellaring, contact Stefan and he will gladly assist. Beyond his professional commitments, he has an adventurous spirit and a love for sports and travel.

What’s Stefan drinking this month?

Vulpes Wines, The Cape Fox Chenin Blanc 2022

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Robyn Rumble

Outbound Logistics

After working in tourism for many years, the challenge of a new industry brought Robyn to Wine Cellar. Since joining in 2015, Robyn has been in charge of Wine Cellar’s outbound logistics, including the delivery of all online orders and transporting any withdrawals from the private cellaring facilities. If you need any assistance regarding local shipping, express delivery or order tracking, Robyn will gladly handle any of your queries.

What’s Robyn drinking this month?

Roger Perrin, Côtes-du-Rhône Fruité 2022

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Abner Phiri

Stock Manager

Abner, Wine Cellar’s energetic and passionate stock controller, is a key member of the company’s dispatch team. He heads the team responsible for packing orders and preparing them for delivery. Passionate about the wine industry and working with Wine Cellar’s extensive stock, Abner’s enthusiasm spreads throughout his team as he rallies to get things done. Over the weekends, you might spot Abner at one of Cape Town’s markets selling his art which often features upcycled corks and other byproducts of the wine trade.

What’s Abner drinking this month?

Black Elephant Vintners, Three Men in a Tub Red Blend 2020

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Janine Retief

Inbound Logistics

Janine's interest in wine took root while she was obtaining her BA in drama and psychology at the University of Stellenbosch. She spent 10 years at one of SA's most reputable estates, eventually managing all of the farm's exports to global agents. This afforded her the opportunity to travel and sparked her interest in international wines. Janine has been with Wine Cellar since 2008 and specialises in import logistics. As well as living for wine and food, she is particularly interested in people, art, architecture and nature – from the Cape Winelands to the Karoo and everything in between.

What’s Janine drinking this month?

Drappier, Carte d'Or Brut NV

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Belinda Tesner


With a Bachelor of Commerce degree, specialising in Finance, Belinda has more than 15 years of experience in the finance industry to her name. After working in the fashion industry for many years, she has gained invaluable knowledge of imports and customer account management. In addition to finance, she is also looking to further her knowledge by obtaining a teaching degree. When not working, Belinda enjoys spending time with family and friends and exploring different wine farms in the Western Cape. For any account related queries, please feel free to contact Belinda.

What’s Belinda drinking this month?

Cape Point Vineyards, Noordhoek Sauvignon Blanc 2022

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Donna Warnett

Head of Marketing

Donna majored in English, Media, and Journalism at the University of Cape Town and has 15 years’ experience in marketing and digital product management. Her flirtation with wine developed into a love affair after she moved to London in 2009 and joined Liv-ex – the global fine wine marketplace – as Marketing Coordinator and Lead Copywriter. She completed her WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and spent four months travelling through Europe’s major wine regions before returning to South Africa. She then went on to manage Wine Cellar’s marketing department for four years, eventually leaving to consult for local and international clients across a range of industries. But Donna couldn’t stay away from wine for long and is delighted to have re-joined the team.

What’s Donna drinking this month?

Giulia Negri, Barolo Serradenari 2018

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Danielle Louw

Social Media Manager

Danielle studied a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English Language and Literature and Film and Media. Her love of wine stems from exploring wine farms with her mum around the Western Cape. She is now part of the marketing team at Wine Cellar and is growing her palate through the team and tastings. In her spare time, you can find her whipping up a storm in the kitchen as she thoroughly enjoys expanding her culinary skillset. Danielle manages Wine Cellar’s social media – something she is very passionate about. You’ll often see her behind her phone taking photos and videos for reels, stories and tweets at our wine events and tastings. She’ll be happy to assist you with any social media related queries.

What’s Danielle drinking this month?

Pio Cesare, Rosy Langhe 2022

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Nadine Cupido-Kayter

Procurement and Accounting Assistant

Nadine has been part of the Wine Cellar team since 2021. Her journey in the wine industry began in 2016, when she became a cellar door ambassador on a wine farm. She completed her WSET Level 2 course and fell in love with the wine craft and industry. Wanting to learn more, she moved to the farm’s logistics team as a Logistics Co-Ordinator, exporting wines both locally and internationally. Nadine now works in our procurement and accounts department. When she isn’t assisting with orders and account queries, you’ll find her outdoors with her family, exploring the beauty of nature.

What’s Nadine drinking this month?

Hartenberg, Riesling 2021

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Robyn Jane Martin

Digital Merchandiser

Robyn studied at Northlink College and has always been excited about wine and all things marketing. After spending many years in the claims department of an insurance company, she had the opportunity to move to the wine industry and pursue both of these interests at once! In her spare time, Robyn enjoys gardening, creating colourful charcuterie boards for her family and friends, and of course enjoying a few glasses of wine.

What’s Robyn drinking this month?

Rosé Every Day Pack

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Charles Gatawa

Cellaring Controller

Having been with Wine Cellar since 2009, Charles has become an integral part of the business and knows the facility like the back of his hand. He is the first point of call for any query relating to both storage and Wine Cellar stock. In addition to being the primary packer and stock checker, Charles also handles storage accounts on Wine Cellar’s specialised warehousing software. Charles is an avid Man. United supporter, and when he’s not working he’s sure to be watching the game and cheering on his team.

What’s Charles drinking this month?

Wind Band, Rococo Red 2020

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