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Tania Kleintjies: The Generational Success Story of a Five Star Winemaker

9 March 2020  -  Coloured South Africa

Tania Kleintjes-Moses is a five star winemaker and the product of a great grandfather who made a very important decision. A farmworker during the horrid apartheid days where they were forced to accept alcohol as payment, he decided that he won’t accept the alcohol.

At the time, he did not realise that this one decision would have a ripple effect, spanning over several decades and producing three generations of success.

Born and raised in Worcester, Tania is the youngest of 3 siblings, a rebellious kid whose mom and dad were both teachers. She might have been rebellious, but she was by no means, a bad kid. The Worcester Gymnasium learner’s dedication to maintaining high academic standards was on full display when she matriculated in 2001 with 6 distinctions.

Being a rebel, she wanted to study something different from what was expected of her. She loved science and nature, so she studied towards a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, focusing on Viticulture and Oenology with Chemistry. This basically means that she focused on the science behind grapes and the creation of wine. She graduated in 2005 and went on to complete a Masters degree. She confesses that she did not think that the study of grapes would be hard but she was wrong and to this day, she is still learning.

While completing her Masters, she also applied for jobs and as every graduate knows, it was not a pleasant experience. She managed to secure two job interviews, both of which she did not get. However, being someone who always sees the positive in every situation, she states that “God’s timing was perfect in this regard”. “My mom passed in 2007 and if I were to get one of those jobs, I wouldn’t have been able to spend as much time with my mom while she was sick,” says Tania. Three months after her mom passed, she was interviewed at Spier Wine Farm and starting her new job as an assistant red winemaker.

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