THE PEOPLE OF KANONKOP

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The people of Kanonkop make it what it is. They are not just workers or employees – they are the Estate.

Up until the 1970s, living conditions for farm workers in the Cape left much to be desired.

Kanonkop became one of the first wine farms to engage in a programme aimed at radically changing conditions for its workers.

Houses with electricity and running water were built. Sports fields and a community hall followed, leading to a palpable improvement in the attitude of its workers and their families.

This sense of family among all at Kanonkop exists to this day.

Frikkie Elias began working at Kanonkop in 1971 and has been at the spearhead of cellar operations with all three of the estate’s winemakers.

Both Beyers Truter and Abrie Beeslaar will tell you that Frikkie has been a mentor to them, since nobody knows the intricate workings of the winery as he does.

Despite retiring in 2016, Frikkie still visits the cellar during harvest time to lend a hand.

Jan Hendriks has spent 36 years on Kanonkop as farm foreman.

“When I got to Kanonkop in 1983, I already knew that it was a very special farm to work on,” says Jan.

Jan Boland had laid the foundations in the 1970s, starting with sports teams made up of the farm workers and then a community hall.

The farm was always and still is where a worker gets the sense that they are looked after.

Alet Vlok started working on Kanonkop in December 2014 as assistant winemaker.

She matriculated (as head girl) from La Rochelle Girls High in Paarl and finished her B.Sc. degree in Viticulture and Oenology in 2012, and her Masters degree in Wine Chemistry and Wine Sensory Analysis in 2015.

Her fascination with wine developed from an early age, and she was always intrigued by the complexities of different wines and how each cultivar was so unique.

Besides her outstanding winemaking abilities in the cellar, Alet has played an integral role in developing and expanding our laboratory’s capability to analyse all the intricacies surrounding fermentation and tannin extractions.

In 2019, she was promoted to winemaker, assisting our cellar master.

Kanonkop is about everyone seeing themselves as part of a family. From management to general workers, we are just over 60 people, with many of the workers’ families living on the farm.

The Krige brothers have always ensured that everybody understands how their destinies are linked – whether you are a tractor driver or a marketing director. If Kanonkop has a good year, everyone shares in the profits.

Our people understand what we do at Kanonkop, and why we do it.

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