Ntsiki Biyela

Winemaker

Ntsiki, a winemaker at Stellekaya Winery in Stellenbosch, is South Africa’s first black female winemaker.

Born in rural northern KwaZulu-Natal, in a village called KwaVuthela, she was raised by her grandmother, Bathabile Sibiya. Ntsiki was recruited to study viticulture and oenology at the University of Stellenbosch and was awarded a full scholarship by South. African Airways, although she admits that at first wine was a very foreign taste to her. She wanted to study chemical engineering, but her mentor, wine connoisseur Jabulani Ntshangase, encouraged her to opt for viticulture.

After completing her apprenticeship at Delheim wines, she graduated in 2003. She joined Stellekaya at the beginning of 2004 as a junior winemaker and in 2005 visited Bordeaux in France to work during harvesting season. Her first batch of boutique red wines will be ready in two years’ time.

Ntsiki enjoys listening to music and spending time with her friends.

Lunch Spot: Caveau, Cape Town