Benguela Cove's Winemaker Michelle Waldeck is on the Winelands 303 under 30 list

Michelle Waldeck - Winemaker -Benguela Cove Wine Estate
Michelle Waldeck - Winemaker -Benguela Cove Wine Estate

WineLand 30 Under 30 list 2024 Celebrates Winemaker, Michelle Waldeck

Benguela Cove Wine Estate's winemaker, Michelle Waldeck, was selected for the WineLand 30 Under 30 list 2024. This list showcases the rising stars, innovators, movers of change, and revenue generators in the South African wine industry. "This is quite an honour." says Michelle. 

The 30 Under 30 list was released on 1 June 2024, with the prestigious awards ceremony taking place in Cape Town on 14 June - and the whole team at Benguela Cove is celebrating Michelle's success. 

“There is reason for optimism among the 30 winemakers, viticulturists, influencers, sommeliers, wine marketers, professors, brand ambassadors (and everything else in between) featured in our 5th annual WineLand 30 Under 30. The key to achieving our industry's dreams and purpose is to pave the way to prosperity, especially for the youth and those who are actively trying to contribute. In celebration of their efforts as young industry professionals, we spotlight thirty of SA wine's rising stars.” says WineLand. 

Carla van der Merwe from WineLand magazine explores how Michelle is "Growing with the brand". Seven years into her winemaking journey at multi-award winning Benguela Cove, there’s no stopping Michelle Waldeck on her path to even greater success. 

Michelle's Journey in Winemaking

Michelle's passion for winemaking blossomed during an internship at a well-known local winery. There, the textbook knowledge she'd learned came alive in the practical world. Stepping into the red wine cellar for the first time, something clicked - she knew this was her calling. That's also where she met Johann Fourie, Benguela Cove's head winemaker, whose team she joined seven years ago. 

Michelle quickly became part of the Benguela Cove family, mentored by both Johann and the winery's owner, Penny Streeter OBE. Penny's a real go-getter, and her story is a constant reminder that there's no magic formula for success. It's about hard work. Michelle highlights the opportunities she's had, both locally and internationally, to witness the journey of building a wine brand from scratch.

What’s next for this WineLand 30 Under 30 Winemaker?

Michelle's success isn't a solo act - she credits her exceptional team. They've racked up numerous awards at prestigious wine shows, and last year, Michelle was even nominated for the Diners Club Young Winemaker of the Year award. These milestones are a reflection of her unwavering dedication to crafting top-quality wines. 

But Michelle's ambitions go beyond personal achievements. She wants to give back by mentoring the next generation of winemakers, fostering a collaborative and knowledge-sharing environment. She's excited about the positive changes in the South African wine industry, where everyone's working together to put South African wines on the global map. 

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