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Meet the young, female winemaker who has taken the lead at Stellies winery

Nongcebo Langa joined Delheim as an intern in 2019 and was recently promoted and named as the estate's winemaker

09 June 2022 - 09:00
Winemaker Nongcebo Langa.
Winemaker Nongcebo Langa. 
Image: Supplied

The skill of turning grapes into wine has long been the domain of men and the SA wine industry is no different — though things are changing. It's such good news when young women in winemaking stand out as the new leaders in the industry, having proved their mettle.

Nongcebo Langa’s journey is an interesting one. Having grown up in the sleepy hollow of Pietermaritzburg with her parents and five siblings, winemaking was possibly the furthermost thing from her mind when she came to decide on a career. This all changed when her interest was piqued after attending a high school presentation by the department of agriculture which mentioned winemaking as a profession — and her future was sealed.

After graduating from Stellenbosch with an MSc degree in oenology, Langa joined Delheim as an intern and became a full-time member of the team in 2019. She moved up the ranks to become the estate’s assistant winemaker and has now been promoted to the role of winemaker of the Stellenbosch winery. For Langa, this is a dream come true.

“I am grateful to my parents for instilling the foundation and motivation that led me on this journey,” she said of her recent promotion. “I still have so much to learn and achieve.”

That said, she's not one to rest on her laurels and is always keen for a challenge. Langa was part of a ground-breaking project on global warming and wildfires at the University of Stellenbosch and her new position at the winery will give her the opportunity to take full advantage of her master’s degree and international work experience, like her stint in California in one of the world’s most prominent new world wine regions which was sponsored by Delheim.

She’s also enrolled in the Business of Wine management course at UCT Business School and is elated about the her new challenge. “It is rewarding to grow and evolve in this industry,” she said. “Delheim is a great brand and I hope to remain present as it grows from strength to strength.”

We raise our glasses in a toast to you Nongcebo Langa. Cheers!

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