Although they’ve only lived in Australia for a few months, Nika and Dirk Bester are already doing big things. They recently launched their own vineyard, distillery and restaurant – Glenbosch Wine Estate in Victoria.
I chatted to them about their business and how they are bringing South African elements to their Aussie offering.
Who Manages Glenbosch Wine Estate?
Dirk grew up in Moorreesburg in South Africa on a broadacre farm. He went to Paarl Boishaai and studied Agriculture at Stellenbosch University.
Nika grew up in Warrenton, Northern Cape and Wolmaransstad, NW and got her Marketing degree from Potchefstroom University.
After completing her degree, Nika planned to move to Cape Town to pursue a marketing career in the wine industry. However, as with many things in life, things did not quite work out the way she intended, Instead, Nika ended up in the Moorreesburg, which must have been fate – Dirk had just finish his studies and moved back to the town as well.
The young couple met in Stellenbosch through friends in 2012 and 2 years later got married in picturesque Paarl.
The Story Behind Glenbosch Wine Estate
It was always a dream of Dirk’s to own and operate a winery. He started his university degree in Viticulture and Oenology but changed to Agronomy and Plant pathology part way through, realising he was going to work at his family’s broadacre grain farm after his studies were complete.
The couple worked hard in their respective careers, but their dream of running a vineyard never diminished.
After scouting around Australia in 2019, they stumbled across Amulet Wines in the hills around the Victorian town of Beechworth. Immediately, they knew they had found what they had been searching for.
They bought the property in September 2019, and by Christmas, they had rebranded and launched their website and social media channels for Glenbosch.
What’s In A Name?
So where did the name Glenbosch come from?
The broadacre farm Dirk’s family owned in South Africa was called Glen Peter and they wanted to keep at least a part of the name.
The Beechworth farm is in a valley with running water, so Glen suited it perfectly. Furthermore, the property is 40% natural Australian Bush (Bosch) so they thought it was fitting that the name essentially means valley and bush.
It also happens to be part of the name of their favourite winery area in South Africa, Stellenbosch, which is also where Dirk’s grandfather had a commercial vineyard.
What Can You Find At Glenbosch Wine Estate?
Glenbosch is a working winery and distillery and also has an onsite restaurant.
Nika and Dirk are hoping to have accommodation available in future and become a wedding/function venue as well.
Their very first product has been their gin range, which currently includes an original gin and a rooibos gin.
Yes, you read that right – rooibos gin. Even if you’re not a fan of rooibos (or gin for that matter), this is one spirit that you need to try. Nika kindly sent me a bottle of each of their gins to sample and I was not disappointed.
She recommended Fever Tree Light Tonic or Schweppes tonic to accompany the rooibos gin, along with thyme and grapefruit – so delish!
With the original gin, I added a slice of lemon, lime and a couple of fresh mint leaves and it was the perfect combination.
When it comes to gin, you can really try a range of garnishes to complement your drink. Earlier this year, I had a gin and tonic with a sprig of fresh oregano and grapefruit at No Mafia in Northbridge – it was divine!
They are also working on producing their own Glenbosch wine range. As we know this could take a few years, but they are super excited at the prospect of producing wine in this renowned grape-growing region of Australia.
Where Can I Buy Glenbosch Gin?
At the moment (April 2020 for those reading this in future), due to the current coronavirus pandemic, their cellar door and restaurant is closed. But take a look at some of the amazing food you can expect when they re-open. This is their potjiekos dish with a modern twist.
It really is a fantastic and unique gin with a South African twist, and makes the perfect gift for any gin lover. So if someone special in your life is celebrating a birthday in lockdown, this could be the ideal gift as you can ship straight to their door!
Find Glenbosch online here:
Website – https://glenbosch.com.au/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/glenboschwines/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/glenbosch/
Have you tried their rooibos gin? Let me know in the comments!
A huge thank you to Nika and Dirk for sending me their gins to try and help spread the word about their vineyard, distillery and restaurant. All opinions are my own.