This year marks over six decades that Carel Nel and daughter Margaux have made wine, almost half of them as collaborators at the Boplaas family-owned wine farm. Between them, they have a lifetime of experience amassed over 63 harvests that are ploughed into the making of every new vintage.
Carel has 45 harvests under his belt, Margaux 18, and each has made their respective marks on South African wine. Together, they represent one of the very rare and exceptional familial wine partnerships of its kind.
In awards alone, the father-and-daughter accolades reveal a golden touch that spans varieties and drinks categories. Among them are:
20 Platter five-stars for port, brandy, muscadel and white wine;
25 Veritas Double Gold (port, brandy, muscadel, sauvignon blanc);
8 SA Champion Port titles at the SA Young Wine Show;
Named Best Port in SA for three consecutive years by Tim Atkin, MW;
Touriga Nacional – Best in SA at the Terroir Awards;
Alvarinho – top score at the Niche Wines Competition;
Veritas Best cellar in SA;
Michelangelo International Wine and Spirit Awards – Best cellar in SA; and
Top scores for red wine and port as rated by Wine Spectator.
Carel has without doubt provided the depth of experience in the partnership thanks to a career that began with his first vintage in 1979. He had just finished his BSc Enology and Viticulture degree at Stellenbosch University.
Recognised for his consistent skill and excellence in wine, port and brandy, Carel was invited to become a member of the Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) in 1988. He became a certified Cape Wine Master in 1991.
Following in her father’s footsteps, Margaux also became a graduate of Stellenbosch University and finished her MSc, specializing in Touriga Nacional on Calitzdorp terroir.
Their journey has been the continuation of the Nel legacy, which began with the export of its first brandy in 1880.
Today, Carel takes the position of managing director with Margaux as cellarmaster. Jeanne, his wife, heads up administration; and daughter Rozanne, marketing, along with Daniel, who has become renowned as Boplaas’s champion distiller in his own right.
Margaux and her husband Leon also produce world class wines under the Fledge & Co label, using fruit from the best terroirs of the Cape including Constantia, Elgin, Stellenbosch and Swartland.
Great wines are a passion of the entire family and they travel regularly to the world’s top producing wine countries in benchmarking Boplaas with the global best.