Ryan Fortuin – The Cellar, Oldenburg Vineyards

Wednesday, 30 September, 2020
Oldenburg Vineyards
We are back in the cellar this month, meeting the third member of Nic’s crack team. Ryan joined Oldenburg Vineyards in January 2019, just before our maiden harvest in the new cellar.

Another born-and-bred local, Ryan hails from Stellenbosch and still lives here. He matriculated from Lückhoff High School in 2009, and by then the foundations for a career in the wine industry had already been laid. Ryan had started helping out in the warehouse at Rustenberg Wines during his school holidays while he was in Grade 11 and 12. This piqued his interest in the cellar, and he wanted to learn more.

In 2013, he started at Glenelly wines, and worked in the cellar there until 2017. Unbeknownst to him at the time, he had been helping take care of wines from a future employer - Oldenburg Vineyards - as some of our wines were being housed there. Small world, indeed! In 2017, he took a job at Warwick, and then followed Nic to Oldenburg in 2019.

As expected, the favourite part of his job is when harvest time rolls around, and the cellar is full of energy and action. He likes it when things are happening – which is what harvest time is all about! Ryan loves a challenge. No part of his job is too boring, or too difficult. He prides himself on being meticulous and doing everything to the best of his abilities. His philosophy in the cellar is that everything needs to be as perfect as it can be – especially when it comes to cleanliness and cellar hygiene.

He is currently completing an SA Wine Training course through Elsenburg. He believes strongly in always learning more, and always being ready for the next opportunity. 

When Ryan isn’t working, he is a family man first and foremost, with a 4-year old son and a fiancée (they’re planning to get married before the end of 2020). He’s always busy when he’s at home, being Mr. Fix-It, keeping everything well maintained and running smoothly.

Offering some advice for our readers – especially in these rather trying times – is to stay safe, and that we all need to work together, if we want to achieve our goals. Sage advice, Ryan.