THORNTON PILLAY – The Highgate Wine Estate’s talented winemaker
This month, we spoke to the knowledgeable and talented winemaker, Thornton Pillay, at Highgate Wine Estate. Thornton obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Viticulture and Oenology at Elsenberg Agricultural Training Institute in Stellenbosch in 2012 and has been working at, and creating wines at Highgate for the past four years.
We asked Thornton about his role at Highgate Wine Estate:
1.How did you get started in the wine business?
“In my matric year at Weston Agricultural College in Mooi River, I was introduced to winemaking and viticulture at a seminar held by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries which inspired me to pursue my career in winemaking.”
2.How does your typical day at Highgate look?
“Each day is unique and it also depends on the time of the year. During harvest, the cellar almost becomes like my second home with most of my hours, day and night, spent looking after the ferments to ensure that quality wines are produced at the end of the process. On a normal day out at harvest I am busy ensuring that the vineyards are healthy and maintained to produce quality grapes.”
3.What is your favourite thing about what you do?
“That definitely has to be tasting the wines once I have made them, and also sharing my experience of producing the wines with fellow wine lovers.”
4.What, in your opinion, is the best wine you have produced at Highgate?
“The Black Edition Cabernet Sauvignon is our premium wine. If you haven’t tried a wine produced in KZN, you definitely want to try this one.”
Find out more information about the vineyard, wine tasting and the team on the Highgate Wine Estate website.