Graham Beck, more than just a story...it's a way of life

Friday, 8 February, 2019
wine.co.za, Sheryl Faure
I decided to spend two days in the cellar at Graham Beck. The question was asked ‘why Graham Beck’ and honestly besides my obvious love for their Brut, I was curious to see how they operate during harvest time. It’s one thing to be called Bubbles but does that friendly persona of Pieter Ferreira continue under the pressure and demands during harvest time?

I can testify, yes he really is that cool!

There is a culture at Graham Beck; the employees have a sense of place – there is respect for equipment, each other and the environment. You instantly become part of the team and you are made to feel welcome. I was told by Pieter, we have no secrets here and so myself and Catia, a winemaker from Portugal, were led by an intern Immy from England on an orientation tour through the cellar, riddling ‘room’ and bottling line. Then we were put straight to work taking tank samples to check balling/Brix and temperature.

The next day we joined the harvest team to pick some Pinot Noir. Pieter Fouché, the farm manager and viticulturist has been part of the Graham Beck team for 24 years, he proudly showed us the positioning of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards. They are forever exploring row direction and trellising type, the thinning out of the canopy and it can all become rather scientific. Excellence is what they strive for.

One of my most moving moments visiting the farm was when I went to visit the kids at the aftercare centre. A welcome space for the school going kids to do homework in the afternoon. The music room is well kitted and enjoyed by many students who have accomplished a few certificates! Drama classes are offered and for those that are hungry, meals are provided. All needs are met and allowing for the kids to develop skills is a must on the Graham Beck to do list. The Graham & Rhona Beck Skills Centre offers various training workshops and they have now created a space for the older school going children to do some brainstorming work on the computers provided so that their school project demands are met. There is a social worker on the farm and workers have access to medical care.

Mossie Basson manages the conservation efforts by overseeing Graham Becks vision to support sustainable resource utilization, the conservation of fauna and flora and their habitats in the nature reserve as well as the Rooiberg Breede River Conservancy – all for the benefit of present and future generations (through active participation, communication and education).

There is a golden thread that runs through Graham Beck as a business, in a personal capacity, work ethic and of course a deeply personal journey of enriching others while being good custodians of the land. Kudos to the team who are being led by the philosophy of Graham & Rhona Beck. Providing the tools for others to grow and excel but also honouring the excellence motto which runs deep, from the roots of the vineyards to the bubbly in the bottle.

Sheryl Faure

Sheryl's background could not be more immersed in wine if she tried! She grew up on a well-known wine farm, has managed wine boutiques and run tasting rooms. Sheryl ensures that our winery clients receive impeccable service. If you want to get the most out of your listing at wine.co.za, just speak to her.