What we're about ...

Here's an excerpt from the 2017 Platter South African Wine Guide:
"The location of André Parker's vineyards on viticulturally vaunted Schapenberg Hill overlooking False Bay promises much for this collaboration with ex-Waterkloof winemaker Werner Engelbrecht, familiar with the terroir, and wine entrepreneur Jabulani Ntshangase, whose New York residency provides access to the US market."

Highberry farm is situated on the Schapenberg hillock overlooking False Bay. It shares borders with some of South Africa's best known wine farms, including Vergelegen, Waterkloof and Journey's End. This area ranks amongst South Africa's most sought after for the crafting of top quality wines, because of its unique location and terroir.

Although a mere 3 miles from the ocean, our location on the slopes and atop Schapenberg results in vineyards located up to 200m above sea level. In addition, prevailing South-East winds blow off the sea during the summer growing season, ensuring an optimal cool climate for fruit development, producing wine grapes with real intensity and vibrancy. While the farm is classified within the Stellenbosch district, these cooler climate characteristics produce fruit budding dates that are generally 4 days later than the Stellenbosch average.

Fruit not used in the making of Highberry wines is sold to other well-known cellars in the region. A characteristic of Highberry's farming venture has been its commitment to biodiversity: 12 hectares has been returned to its original indigenous habitat (Renosterveld)from previously planted alien pine trees. This has taken over 5 years to accomplish, but the results are now evident as the legendary Cape Floral Kingdom again comes to life, attracting birdlife and small wild animals alike.

Perched as it is at the top of the Schapenberg, Highberry is blessed with spectacular views of False Bay to the south, the Helderberg Mountain on the west and the Hottentots Holland Mountain range to the north and east of the farm. The farm's GPS co-ordinates are: 34°06'05.77"S by 18°54'25.37"E.

All Highberry Wines customers, consumers and supporters are most welcome to visit the farm, but booking is essential (Contact us for details)

The Team

This farm has brought together three men: A celebrated wine maker, a knowledgeable wine enthusiast and a progressive farmer. With their roots anchored equally firmly in the soils of South Africa, these men came together to bring you Highberry's finest fruit of the vine.

Jabulani Ntshangase, Werner Engelbrecht, Andre Parker

Werner Engelbrecht

Werner is one of South Africa's celebrated winemakers, having made wine for the country's top labels including Waterkloof, Avondale and the Vinfruco.

He lives out his conviction that the foundation of good winemaking starts with an intrinsic understanding of the vineyards, working as a viticulture consultant at KWV for 4 years before starting his winemaking career. He knows Highberry's Block SB 6, from where he crafted the Highberry 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, very well, as he had brought in fruit from this premium block for Waterkloof during his stint there as winemaker. "Only by getting to know your vineyards, and how the climate interacts with the vines every season, can you interpret the best way to handle the vines."

His wine philosophy is to make wines which reflect the character of the vineyards and what grows there. "This means most of my work during the year is centred on our vineyards. Making wine is a small, although important, part of the process."

Werner is a family man who loves spending time with his wife, Esrei (who is also Highberry's accountant) and two young kids.

Jabulani Ntshangase

An internationally renowned wine connoisseur and wine columnist, Jabulani developed a keen interest in the wine industry in the late 1970's while studying towards his Business Degree on a United Nations Scholarship at the Baruch College in Manhattan, New York. This interest started when he was employed as a clerk in an upmarket Manhattan Wine Shop.

After spending the better part of the 1980's developing a keen interest in South African wines while in the US, he soon became a well-respected authority on South African wines, such that the Neal Rosenthal Wine Merchants invited him to assist in the acquisition of a portfolio of top quality South African wines for importation into the United States.

His achievements in the industry within South Africa include:

  • On his return to SA he started a newspaper column on food and wine;
  • Became member of the teams tasked with the development of the Spier Estate's Wine Centre;
  • Partnered with John Platter, Charles Back and Gyles Webb to establish Spice Route Wine Company;
  • Served as a representative for the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs on the Wine Industry Trust;
  • Served as a wine judge for the South African Airways;
  • Set up the Wine Education Programme to develop black in the fields of Viticulture (i.e. grape production), Plant Pathology, Oenology (i.e. wine making) and Agricultural Economics at Stellenbosch University.

André Parker

André spent his working life with SABMiller, the global brewing giant, heading up their African and Asian operations before retiring back to the Cape in 2007.

Despite his brewing career, he gradually became intrigued by the world of fine wine.

Although he hates the flowery language often used to describe the characteristics of a wine, it is the uniqueness of each varietal, terroir and vintage that has him smitten.

As befits a good brewing person, he needs to finish a proper glass before pronouncing on the merits of a wine - no sipping and spitting for André!

His family bought present day Highberry farm in 2003, retaining only 1,5 hectares of the original vineyards, and planting the remaining 38,5 hectares over the intervening years.

Apart from his farming activities, he serves on the boards of some of South Africa's top companies.

He's passionate about his family (especially 2 grand-daughters) and South Africa.