Meet the Wine Cellar Team
Meet the team
Studying economics at the University of Stellenbosch, Roland was surrounded by wine and as soon as he had finished his degree, he found his way into the wine industry. After working in marketing, retail, exports and as a sommelier, Roland joined Wine Cellar and has been the Director since 2005. Local and international study as well as regular travel have added to his extensive insight into the wine world. You will find Roland at most of SA’s top wine events, judging and forever expanding his palate. When he isn’t popping corks, Roland enjoys cooking, writing about wine and as running on the beautiful Cape mountain trails.
Head of Sales
James, who manages our SA wine portfolio, 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, including retail, wine buying and as the Head Sommelier for the Slick Restaurant Group. As professional wine taster with experience including Platter’s Wine Guide (since 2007), a board member of SASA (South African Sommeliers Association), Wine Magazine, Classic Wine Magazine, Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, Amorim Cap Classic Challenge and much more, James has a deep understanding of South African wines.
After working in the tourism for many years, the challenge of a new industry brought Robyn to Wine Cellar. For the past 3 years, 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.
During her studies to become a chef, Paige completed several courses with the Cape Wine Academy and was captivated by the world of wine. Deciding to pursue a career in the fine wine industry, she joined Wine Cellar’s digital marketing team after completing her marketing degree. Paige oversees Wine Cellar’s online store, digital merchandising and content creation. Feel free to contact her for any marketing or website related queries. She is always on stand-by and ready to offer her support.
With a Bachelor of Commerce degree, specialising in Finance, Belinda has more that 15 years’ experience in the finance industry to her name. After working in the fashion industry for many years, Belinda has gained invaluable knowledge of imports and customer account management. She is currently furthering her studies towards her CIMA qualification. For any account related queries, contact Belinda.
Stefan van der Merwe
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 9 years of invaluable experience in the South African wine industry. At Wine Cellar, Stefan oversees the cellaring operations and ensures that the strict storage conditions are always met. For any inquiries relating to storage accounts and private cellaring, contact Stefan and he will gladly assist.
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.
Fine Wine Sales
Jolette manages the Fine Wine Sales at Wine Cellar. After completing her BSc and MSc in Oenology and Viticulture in SA and Europe, she worked as the winemaker at Steenberg for 3 years before joining our team. Jolette has 13 harvests on 4 continents under her belt, a WSET Level 3 qualification and speaks 4 languages. Jolette is also the 2017 and 2018 SAWTC champion. Her philosophy centres around respect for the traditions of the viticultural community whilst focusing simultaneously on creativity and innovation within the wine spectrum. When she’s not working, Jolette is making wine under her own label, started in early 2018.
Reece is involved with the marketing department and helps keep Wine Cellar’s social media and website in check. He has a Bachelor of Commerce with Honors in Strategic Brand Management. Reece picked up his interest in wine and spirits from the many hours spent working as a waiter. Before he joined the team, he was involved in the telecommunications industry and now entertains the office with his daily lunch choices. Reece likes to think of himself as a fine wine, getting better with age, and can be found watching sport or improving his wine knowledge in his free time. Feel free to contact him for any marketing or website related queries.
Claudia is our resident web designer and UX wizard. She has obtained higher certificates in print, interactive media and web publishing and recently graduated from the prestigious Innogy Design Academy. She has built up an outstanding portfolio through her freelance work and has been lucky enough to work in a multitude of industries. Working at Wine Cellar has unleashed her passion for wine. She’s known to enjoy a local red and is now actively tasting and working on improving her palate. When she is not working on our latest designs, she can be found out in nature with a good book in hand or out and about visiting the Cape’s wine farms.