At Silkbush we believe in the Power of Our People; without our wonderful team, we would not have been where we are today!
Silkbush is an extended family of individuals all dedicated to Silkbush Mountain Vineyards’ success. Silkbush’s Managing Director and Vineyard Manager, Anton and his wife Franci, live on the Silkbush property with their three sons. Franci’s parents, Francois and Isabel Marais, live on the large farm next door where Franci grew up, and where all the generations of Marais have lived since the early 1820’s.
On the farm, we communicate mostly in Afrikaans, some Soto, and some Xhosa, the dialect of the principal Black tribe of the Eastern and Western Capes. Almost everyone in our permanent farming crew (presently 21 people) live on Silkbush farm. We have a team of very motivated people who are paid above average for the area. Our workers are salaried and receive annual bonuses.
Vineyard Manager and Managing Director
Educated at the University of Stellenbosch, in Viticulture and Enology, consulted for VinPro, the national viticultural service, and former Vineyard Manager/ Assistant Winemaker at a prior winery, Anton and his family have lived on Silkbush since 2001 and have planted almost every hectare. Anton also served for 10 years on the Board of Directors of a large, former cooperative winery in Breerivier, now a stock company owned by shareholder/growers.
Chris du Toit
Chris is a graduate of Elsenburg Agriculture College, after some five years of practical experience at a large South African winery after High School. Chris has been the lead winemaker at Bergsig for over 10 years, and is highly familiar with and impressed by the Silkbush grapes. While the majority of Silkbush fruit is sold to independent wineries, Chris and Anton are prepared to increase Silkbush’s own wine production as the brand’s sales increase.
Living with his family in the nearby town of Wolseley, Oordman came to Silkbush over 10 years ago with very little vineyard experience. (However, as he said on the lead video on the Silkbush site, "Anton taught me everything there is to know.") We are exceedingly proud of his outstanding growth as a key manager. His scope of daily activities is virtually unlimited and his reliability is exceptional. Oordman is a great example of what is possible in the New South Africa.
Assistant Manager and Kingsbury Cottage Guest House Manager
From the inception of Silkbush, Franci Marais Roos has been Anton's working partner in the development of a large vineyard as well as the mother of their three sons. She had the benefit of growing up on the adjacent Marais vineyard and fruit farm with talented parents who were wonderful life models. Franci learned about running a large vineyard from her childhood. Making up staff payrolls, running the farm store for resident employees, and then managing the lodging at the Kingsbury Cottage, Franci has far exceeded the role of "farmer's wife."
Selena is cofounder of Heritage Link Brands (HLB), the exclusive importer of Silkbush wines to the US, to multinational businesses, and to multiple other foreign countries. Now with over 10 years of experience importing RSA wines to the US. Selena has been highly successful in representing BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) South African wineries to large retailers, such as Wal-Mart Stores, Whole Foods, and a number of major airlines including American, United and Delta. HLB’s entire impressive staffing is African American. Selena, a graduate of Stanford University and the Harvard Business School, has exceptional marketing skills (www.heritagelinkbrands.com) and her company is now an equity partner in Silkbush.