Andrea Freeborough has been appointed as the new head winemaker at Distell. Having been cellar-master at Nederburg since 2015, she will be leaving her position at the Paarl winery at the end of May. She will take up her new role in overseeing the production of South Africa’s largest wine portfolio.

Distell’s diverse and globally traded range extends from premium brands all the way through to more mainstream offerings. 

“Andrea will be carefully looking after our wine brands from a top-line perspective. She will be managing all aspects of winemaking by working hand-in-hand with our talented winemakers and viticulturists,” says Johan Venter. Andrea will report to Venter, who heads up Distell’s Centre of Excellence: Intrinsic.

Two decades of successful innovation

“With her impressive qualifications, excellent sensorial instinct, and close to two decades of successful winemaking experience under the belt, Andrea has certainly proven her ability to lead top-performing teams. She can innovate and experiment, and simultaneously create specialty wines and those aimed at broad appeal. 

“This makes her ideally placed for the role of Distell head winemaker. We are confident that with Andrea’s solid track record, she will provide outstanding direction and inspiration to our wine brands.”

An award-winning wine connoisseur

Armed with BSc Hons degrees in viticulture and oenology from the University of Stellenbosch, Freeborough’s working life began as an assistant winemaker at Neethlingshof in Stellenbosch. Less than three years later she was appointed a full-fledged winemaker. There she worked under Nederburg cellar-master, Razvan Macici, producing the whites.

Four-and-a-half years later, still in her early thirties, she was appointed to head Distell’s Die Bergkelder. She held this job for a decade before returning to Nederburg to take over from Macici in 2015.

It’s a modest account of her working life, considering that many of her award-winning Nederburg and Fleur du Cap wines, and others made under her direction, suggest a woman of considerable talent and leadership skills. Not to mention an impressive ability to balance work and family life. Just the ingredients to take over the winemaking helm at Distell. – Press release