Martin grew up on a sugar cane farm in KwaZulu Natal in a little town called Eshowe. Eshowe’s name is said to be inspired by the sound of wind blowing through the Dlinza Forest.
Being in the agricultural sector was always part of Martin’s dream, and when his father purchased a wine farm in the Western Cape, he knew that he found a love for wine.
“I was in the Western Cape, and what do you do in the Western Cape? You do wine.”
Freshly graduated from the University of Cape Town with a business degree, Martin’s first real taste of the wine industry was at Boschendal in 1987. After gaining invaluable experience in permanent financial management positions and as a wine business consultant, he found a permanent home at Warwick Wine Estate as their financial manager and later the chief operating officer from 2005 for 13 years. Today, Martin leads Rhebokskloof through his own unique style of steward leadership, a form of leadership that focuses on others, the community and society at large rather than the self.
His vision for Rhebokskloof is for Rhebokskloof to become a brand that people can aspire to.
“We have all the building blocks in place and, most importantly, an amazing team to take Rhebokskloof to the next level.”
Martin believes in leading the team by building loyalty and respect through equitable and fair treatment.
“It is not about who you are but what you are. Respect from others should be earned by the work you do and not the position you hold.”
Some interesting facts about Martin:
- He ran a carpet cleaning business for two years.
- He and his brother own a boutique wine farm in Somerset West.
- If he could be a Rhebokskloof wine, it would be the Flatrock White. “I do not classify myself as a “normal” accountant. If I had to be a wine, it would be something that has a little more edge. I think I would be a Flatrock White – it’s a blend (for my multi-layered personality), it makes me think of the outdoors, and it has a ‘bokkie’ on the front.”