Andrea Freeborough: The cellar master
Updated: May 13, 2019
Andrea Freeborough is the cellar master at Nederburg wines @nederburgwine one of South Africa’s oldest & largest wine cellars. At the age of 14, whilst thumbing through a magazine, she saw a photograph of a beautiful vineyard and at that moment decided that she wanted to be a winemaker. Originally interested in viticulture, it was while spending time in the cellar as a student that she realised that she actually wanted to be a winemaker. Armed with both an honours in viticulture and an honours in winemaking, she started off her career as an assistant winemaker at Neethlingshof @neethlingshof, followed by a stint at Nederburg before being made head of Distell’s Die Bergkelder, where she won several awards for her Fleur du Cap @fleurducapwines wines.
Three years ago, things came full circle when she was asked to be the cellar master at Nederburg. Andrea tells us that in her fourth year at Stellenbosch University, everyone seemed so sure of exactly where they would start working when they completed their studies (it helped that many lived on wine farms!) and she recalls a class outing to Neethlingshof, being so incredibly unsure of herself and her abilities, wondering where and if she would get a job and whether she would even be able to meet all the requirements of being a winemaker. After one of her friends was told that females don’t belong in a cellar by a very established winemaker at the time, Andrea promised herself that she would work really hard so that she might one day be good enough to eventually work in a winery such as Neethlingshof, at the height of her career. As life would have it, Neethlingshof offered Andrea her first permanent position as an assistant winemaker so she believes that dreams do really come true if you work and believe hard enough! We are inspired by Andrea’s quiet determination, commitment to her craft and clearness of purpose.
Andrea's favourite wines to make and to drink are Sauvignon blanc and Shiraz.
Featured artist: Bonolo Diseko @bonolodiseko