Though his father grew vegetables as well, grapes caught Andries's attention and led to his dream of becoming a winemaker. To achieve his goal, he studied viticulture and oenology at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch.
After graduating, he joined Rooiberg Cellars in the Robertson Valley, where he focused on red wine making under the well known Dassie Smith as his mentor. Apart from his formal education, Andries spent time in several of the world's top winemaking regions, including Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, and the United States, in order to gain insight into the fast-growing industry.
Andries Blake joined Swartland Winery in 1996 and set out to create the best quality South African wines. "The appeal of South Africa lies in the building blocks it gives you," says Blake. "It is in the great variations in our climate, in our soils, and the exciting developments of our wine industry that offer the best of the Old and New World."
Throughout his years at both Rooiberg Cellars and Swartland Winery he has won numerous national and international accolades for his wines.
After 17 vintages at Swartland Winery, Andries traded Swartland winery for Klawer Wine Cellars as the new CEO. Currently living in Klawer with his wife, Marinda whilst their two sons, Christoph and Van der Bijl board at Rondebosch Boys' High School. The Blake family can often be found admiring the breathtaking landscapes and wildlife of South Africa. Whether it is walking through the vineyards, playing rugby with his sons, fishing or sharing family outings in the great South African bush, he enjoys exploring the wonders of this unique and majestic land.
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