Longridge Wine Estate, one of the leading wine estates in South Africa, is situated in the Stellenbosch region on the slopes of the Helderberg mountain range.
The Longridge Team
Heading the team is Jasper Raats, who has been a winegrowing consultant since 2006. He has worked in this capacity in various regions and countries and has a passion for organic and bio-dynamic growing.
With his winemaker wife, Sally, he also started Koru Wines in New Zealand and his two single vineyard wines became very sought-after in a relatively short time and the most expensive Marlborough wines of their type, receiving incredible international acclaim.
Going further back, he founded the successful Raats Family Wines with his brother and after working at acclaimed Vérité in California also worked in Burgundy, Pouilly Fume and Sancerre, before taking charge of the then up and coming Sumaridge near Hermanus.
In 2003 Jasper extended his international career by joining the Henri Bourgeois team as viticulturist and winemaker at their pioneering project in New Zealand. Clos Henri quickly jumped to the top list of producers in Marlborough.
Hendrien De Munck
Hendrien studied BSc. Viticulture and Oenology at the University of Stellenbosch and is our smiling winemaker. After a stint at Morgenhof, she worked a vintage at La Crema in California, focusing on Chardonnay. Her experience with this widely popular grape, served her well when she joined Longridge in 2009. She furthered her training by once again working with great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but this time at internationally well-regarded Louis Latour in Burgundy.
Hendrien is vital to our winemaking efforts and the day-to-day organization of our winery is safe in her efficient hands.
Shaun joined our team coming from an experienced background in the industry. Working in various departments, he has gained a lot of insight and expertise, especially in sales. Shaun manages our sales teams locally and internationally.
Longridge Restaurant’s Executive Chef is Maritz Jacobs, as our new Executive Chef. A native from Namibia and later Pretoria, he completed a two year Swiss Hotel Management Course after Matric under the watchful eye of well-known hospitality figure Jürg Vontobel who instilled in Maritz many core values about food and service. Since then he has impressed fellow chefs, patrons, critics and fans with his culinary flair which was honed by his time in illustrious kitchens such as that of Ruben’s, Ruben’s @ One&Only and more recently Boschendal. While he has shown great success as a fine dining chef, Maritz is greatly inspired by elegant cuisine styles that showcase the beauty and flavour of a dish’s core ingredients. He also values the intrinsic and organic value of creating dishes in its most basic form. With Longridge’s commitment to and passion for organic and biodynamic principles, Maritz is truly a wonderful asset to our team.
Riaan started his career in London in 1997 as a cocktail bartender and mixologist, working with London’s finest in some of the most glamorous venues. His potential did not go unnoticed and he quickly moved into management and was running one of London’s best cocktail bars by age 26. He returned to South Africa in 2003 to manage the famed Barazza in Camps Bay and then went on to open Sinns restaurant in Wembley Square with renowned chef Thomas Sinn where he pursued his passion for wine under Sinn’s guidance. Dornier Bodega lured him to the Winelands and later he joined chef George Jardine’s team at the award winning Jordan restaurant. Longridge’s organic ethos drew him to the farm and he looks forward to spoiling our guests with beautifully prepared organic ingredients and excellent wines.
Marilou Marais, our culinary consultant and owner of Avec Mari catering, has been in the hospitality industry for the past 20 years. Training under well-known maestro Ralph van Pletzen, she moved to France and the United Kingdom to complete her training in 1993. Returning to South Africa, Avec Mari was born by initially being a quant bistro in the heart of Dorp Street Stellenbosch introducing the locals to black board menus and tapas style eating. Ever since the opening of Avec Mari Restaurant, which was later sold but resulted into the catering leg, she has travelled annually to extend her food knowledge and exposure. Longridge is privileged to enjoy her vast experience and expertise.
In the currently challenging market, efficiency and superb organizing skills are essential to gain a competitive edge and Michéle ensures that we have that advantage. As Operations Manager she manages logistics, distribution and exports smoothly and timeously. She also ensures that everything is labelled, packed and accounted for.
Michéle brings a lot of experience to our team, essential knowledge of the industry and infectious humour.
Ruth, our creditors’ clerk, has been with Longridge since 2015. Born and raised in Strand, she matriculated from Hottentots Holland High School in 2006. After a stint at Stellenbosch University, she worked in various financial capacities before joining our team. She enjoys spending time with her family on the beaches of the Cape.
Beulah is one of our most loyal and longstanding employees and have steadfastly progressed through the ranks to now occupy the position of Financial and Admin assistant. There is very little she can’t do and her golden touch even extends to cooking wonderful traditional South African dishes. Beulah also takes care of all incoming orders and issuing invoices and statements.