Creation welcomes 3 Swiss Interns

Every year around this time, hundreds of harvest interns from all over the world arrive in South Africa to work in local wine cellars learning valuable winemaking skills.

However they gain so much more than just winemaking experience – living and working in Africa is no doubt the source of countless memories and lifelong friendships.

Situated in the picturesque Hemel-en-Aarde, just minutes from the white beaches and frolicking whales of Walker Bay, Creation is inundated with requests for internships every year. While we often host young South African winemakers, the Swiss connection of cellarmaster Jean-Claude (JC) Martin also means that we have many Swiss interns. This year all three are Swiss, and to get to know them a bit better, three brief CVs:

Christian Dexl
Christian (aka Patrick) hails from the little winemaking village of Ligerz on the Lake of Biel. Having completed an apprenticeship as electrical engineer, he continued his studies in environmental engineering, working on several nature projects in Switzerland and the Canary Islands. In 2010 he decided to leave the Swiss Ornithology Research Station in order to work on a wine farm overlooking the Lake of Biel. “At first it was just for fun, but I furthered my education in Oenology and have concrete plans to start my own winery in 2017,” says Christian. Asked about his stay at Creation, Christian says he especially values his experience in the Creation maturation cellar and furthermore “studies the surfing spots and waves around the Estate (!)”.

Johannes Hunger
Johannes comes from Jenins, a small village in the Canton of Graubünden in the east of Switzerland. He started his oenological studies in 2010 and graduated in 2013. Having completed his Swiss military service, Johannes returned home to tend to his family’s vineyards. The adventurous young winemaker still wants to widen his horizons by working in the Winelands of New Zealand, Argentine, the USA and France. Among his favourite cultivars are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Completer – the latter being a rare variety primarily grown in the east of Switzerland. Asked why he chose Creation for his internship Johannes refers to the Estate’s proud reputation for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. And he’s not disappointed: “I must say I’m impressed with the quality!”

Dominic Scholer
Dominic Scholer, from the town of Twann on the Lake of Biel, completed his wine apprenticeship last year. Although fond of Chasselas, “a local Swiss cultivar not many people know about,” Dominic’s passion is Pinot Noir and at Creation he certainly gets to know the best! Commenting on his internship at Creation, Dominic enthusiastically refers to the friendly people he has come across and then the opportunity of tasting older vintages in the company of JC. Another highlight has been the chance of attending a rugby game at Newlands – “let’s go, Stormers, let’s go!”.