DELHEIM ESTATE has entered an exciting new era following changes to its senior winemaking team. Roelof Lotriet has been promoted to cellar master while Nongcebo “Noni” Langa has been appointed to the role of winemaker of the renowned Stellenbosch winery.
Nongcebo joined Delheim as an intern and became a full-time member of the team in 2019. She most recently worked in the position of assistant winemaker. Announcing the changes, Roelof described the change as “a true success story”.
“Nongcebo has proven herself time and time again, showing not only her winemaking leadership skill, but talent and deep insight over the past four vintages at Delheim. It is now time for her to express herself in a more senior position,” he says.
When Nongcebo first joined, her arrival was hailed as being perfectly aligned with Delheim’s pioneering history. Under the late Spatz Sperling, the family-run wine farm became a microcosm of visionary work in the greater Stellenbosch community and the Cape Winelands as a whole. In the days when there were few privately owned farms, Spatz, Sydney Back of Backsberg and Frans Malan of Simonsig were instrumental in transforming wine estate legislation. He was furthermore one of the trio of founders of the first-of-its-kind Stellenbosch Wine Route.
In similar vein, Nongcebo was part of a ground-breaking project on global warming and wildfires at the University of Stellenbosch. Having graduated with an MSc in Oenology from the same institution, she too had become a contributor to pioneering work.
“This new position at Delheim will give Nongcebo the opportunity to take full advantage of her master’s degree and international work experience,” Roelof says.
Nongcebo, who is currently also enrolled in the Business of Wine management course at UCT business school, says she is “elated” about the opportunity. “It is rewarding to grow and evolve in this industry,” she adds.
“I am grateful to my parents for instilling the foundation and motivation that led me on this journey. I still have so much to learn and achieve, and I look forward to it.
“Delheim is a great brand and I hope to remain present as it grows from strength to strength,” she says.
Growing up in Pietermaritzburg, the eldest of five children, Nongcebo had no background in wine. Her interest was piqued however when she attended a high school presentation by the Department of Agriculture, which mentioned winemaking as a profession. Some years later, Delheim Estate facilitated further training and experience for Nongcebo in California, one of the world’s most prominent New World Wine regions.
In her new role, she will continue to work closely with Roelof, whose new position sees him take on new challenges as he steers the cellar to new heights. Amongst his tasks, he will ensure Delheim remains at the sharp end of technology advances; help track the evolution of global wine styles; and, monitor and pursue efficiencies within Delheim’s sustainability targets.