The Winemaker

Louis Strydom - Winemaker

“Single-minded focus, a site selected for its ideal growing conditions, and gentle extraction techniques during the winemaking process all combine to create premium, full-bodied wines with the classic Cabernet Sauvignon cues that set apart every bottle of Ernie Els wine.” ~ Louis Strydom, Winemaker.

After graduating from Elsenburg College in Stellenbosch, Louis Strydom joined the team at Saxenburg Wine Estate. During his time there, he worked through several vintages in both Switzerland and France, with extensive travels to the wine regions of Italy, Germany and the USA.

In 1998, Louis joined Rust en Vrede Wine Estate. His consistent skill in winemaking quickly drew the attention of those in the industry and he began to receive awards for his wines. Wine Spectator awarded Louis’ Red Blend (Rust en Vrede Estate Wine) with a Top 100 listing for four consecutive years and the same wine has received a 4 and 5 star award in John Platter on many occasions since then.

In December 2004, Louis left Rust en Vrede to pay more attention to the Bordeaux blend wine called Ernie Els. With two 93/100 ratings in Wine Spectator for its first two vintages, as well as being the first South African red wine to reach such a high score, the Ernie Els Red was also awarded a 4 and 5 star rating consecutively. The 2004 Ernie Els Wine received another 5 Star rating in the 2007 Platter Guide, which was the only Red Blend to achieve this rating at the time.

Through his hands-on approach, Louis’ blended red wines are unique in every sense of the word. His complete dedication and focus on producing premium wines is evident in the quality of wines he produces. Last year, Ernie Els Wines was very proud to receive a 5 star Platter award, as well as a Top Red Blend of the Year award for the Proprietor’s Blend 2016.

Cape Winemakers Guild

Educating others within the wine industry is part of who Louis is and he is always willing and eager to share his knowledge in order to help others grow. Due to this quality of his, as well as his incredible winemaking skills, he was invited to join the Cape Winemakers Guild where he served as the Chairperson for a number of years and is currently the Chairman of the CWG Development Trust. As a result of his involvement in the CWG, Louis also takes on a protégé each year where he assists in their education and training to become winemakers themselves. He is also a Trustee of Wine Training South Africa and a Director of Vititec.