Nontsikelelo Biyela


When she finished school, Nontsikelelo Biyela was a domestic worker. Biyela grew up in the small village of Kwavuthela in KwaZulu-Natal, and she says that after matriculating, there were just not many options open to her. But in 1999, that all changed. She was offered a bursary to study viticulture at Stellenbosch University based on her matric results. It was then that she began her foray into the white, male-dominated wine industry. Biyela says that she can count the black wine makers in the country on one hand. It's testament to her tenacity that when she began her studies she could no speak Afrikaans, the medium in which her course would be taught. She apprenticed at Delheim and in 2004, she got a job at Stellekaya winery in Stellenbosch where she has been ever since. Now her work has taken her to the US, Germany, Sweden and the UK and her wines are being exported to France and Holland. � Eamon Allan

Lunch spot: 95 Keerom, Gardens Cape Town