Pieter de Waal, owner and winemaker of Hermit on the Hill Wines, is described by the Platter Guide as “stubborn as an ox and ornery as an ostrich – and he only makes wine when he has the time and inspiration.”
After dabbling in the dark arts of economics and attaining an MBA at the University of Stellenbosch, he started pursuing his career in wine. It all started with running a wine shop, Vinotage, in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, after which he had the opportunity to assist Mark Savage MW in his wine import, export and distribution business in the United Kingdom. At the same time he completed the Advanced Certificate at the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) in London. After this he returned to South Africa to head up Paarl Vintners, followed by a stint of marketing the Durbanville Wine Valley.
Hermit on the Hill Wines were launched with a maiden vintage 2000 Syrah made in conjunction with Clive Kerr of Coleraine Wines, and the range has since grown to include Syrah, Pinot Noir, Grenache as well as a number of red and white blends.
Before getting married to Lohra, a boutique winemaker in her own right as well as Pilates instructress and health coach – www.healthydays.co.za – Pieter regularly worked the harvest in the South of France with university buddy, Ciaran Rooney.
He is a registered tourist guide for the Western Cape specialising in wine tourism, and also a shareholder in Mount Abora Vineyards.