After working in wineries across the world, Trizanne Barnard took the leap and started her own company, Trizanne Signature Wines. Over a decade later, Trizanne is now a leading wine specialist, selling her bottles internationally, judging on various panels and when she has some downtime, surfing. | Twitter | Instagram  

How did you get into wine making?

 After school I travelled and worked abroad a lot. My first job was on a kibbutz in Israel, which exposed me to agriculture, then I moved to London and worked in a fine wine and dining restaurant where I learnt about international wines.  

I came back to South Africa after 2 years and studied Viticulture and Oenology at Stellenbosch University. Straight after graduating the travel bug bit me again, but this time I could work and travel for my job, which led me to do various harvests in Margaret River, Alsace, Bordeaux, Northern Rhone, Douro.

Then 11 years ago I took a leap of faith and started my own business.


What makes a good wine?

 Good grapes - it really is that straight forward.

Your job as a winemaker is to cut the rough diamond into a shiny one.


What’s your favourite thing about your job?

Not one day is the same.

It’s such a diverse job, from stomping grapes in gum boots to dressing up for wine evenings, from being outside in the beautiful vineyards to back in the cellar surrounded by your barrels. Always being creative with blends, labels and new concepts.


What’s the wine scene like in South Africa compared to the rest of the world?

Super exciting and up-and coming.

There’s a great focus on SA wines and it feels like the momentum is only just starting, so it’s very exciting to be a part of this dynamic industry.


How did you find starting your own business?

Super challenging. But it's been the most rewarding challenge of my life.

The amount of doors that open when you're willing to take the risk and walk through that first one is mind-blowing.

The challenge is to keep on being motivated, to keep pushing yourself and never be complacent, never think you have ‘arrived’. Team up with people that are better than you because they’re the ones who will help you to become the best version of yourself.


What’s your experience as a woman running your own business?

I don't think there’s been any difference between myself as a woman and my male colleagues - it's up to you as an individual to make this 'work’ and has nothing to do with gender. Your personality, your work ethic, your perceived outcome is what’s important.


What are you most excited about for the future of wine making?

To still create that one ah-ha moment wine!