Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life
After working in the UK advertising and media industry for over 25 years, David Croft
took early retirement in search of a new challenge. Combining his passion for South Africa,
travel and wine, he and a friend and colleague of 20 years, Andy Bartholomew, embarked on
a new business venture in search of a vineyard in South Africa.
Attracted by the authentic town of Wellington in the beautiful Bovlei Valley with the
Bainskloof Pass towering above, they stumbled across the Andreas Wine Estate after viewing
30 properties. The pair fell in love with the stunning landscaped gardens, the amazing 13.5
hectares of grounds of which 4.5 were already under vine and the elegant Cape Dutch
property dating back to 1799. The added bonus was the delicious Shiraz the estate produced.
The hot Wellington climate produced grapes bursting with fruit. The resulting wine, made
from handpicked grapes, fermented, aged, bottled and labelled on site, is full bodied. Plums,
dry prunes, damsons and cherries with hint of dry mint, cinnamon and violets and notes of
spices and herbs.
This was back in 2011. David was led by his heart and was ready to buy, but Andy’s
business acumen was led by his head and declared it unaffordable and potentially
unprofitable. It wasn’t until 2015 with a strengthened pound could the duo consider a
purchase. The pair set up Andreas Wine Trading and set about pitching the idea to friends
and business associates. Their vision was to take the award winning Shiraz to even higher
planes and renovate the house in to a 4 star boutique hotel. 23 UK investors recognised the
potential and signed up. Their plan was to create a dynamic business project together, which
would also cement their friendship.
A year of hard graft followed. Architect planning meetings, builders, environmental
experts and a water treatment project culminated in the completion of a total overhaul of the
estate and house. This quickly became a labour of love. David project managed the
renovations whilst his wife, Angela, and another shareholder, Pauline Babayode, worked on
the interiors, filling the house with a blend of beautiful antique furniture and contemporary
cool, blue fabrics - all of which were proudly sourced locally. Hours of research paid off and
is reflected in the exquisite attention to detail, from the motion sensor soft night lights in the
bathrooms to the highest quality Egyptian bed linen on extra length top of the range beds, all
ensuring a pleasant night’s sleep.
Roll on to 2018. The luxury accommodation offering has been open for almost a year.
The guest house manager, Henry de Koker, is fast becoming well known for offering an elite 5
star service and excels at showcasing the house. The four luxurious ensuite bedrooms all have
walk in showers and large free standing baths and lead on to a private ‘pyjama lounge’ on the
first floor. Each room can be booked individually; equally the entire house is perfect for
renting out for family gatherings, golf and cycling enthusiasts or yoga, painting and
The vineyard is going from strength to strength with plans afoot for planting new vines
under the expert guidance of the newly recruited winemaker, Shaun Meyeridricks, who
joined from the world renowned Boekenhoutskloof. The team is extremely proud to have
Shaun on board. His experience, passion and drive is immense and his dedication is sure to
take the 4 star Platters Shiraz to an even higher level.
Come and experience the charm and serenity of the Andreas Wine Estate, have the
pleasure of meeting Shaun and Henry, taste the award winning Shiraz on the sun kissed stoep
overlooking the gardens and pool, or by a cosy fire in the winter. Even better, treat yourself to
an overnight stay and indulge.