Francois Roode was born in Namibia but his parents moved to Cape Town when he was just nine years old. His interest in viticulture and winemaking bloomed early, and when he finished school, he enrolled at Elsenburg Agricultural College to study viticulture and winemaking. Studying viticulture at Elsenburg established a firm grounding.
His first job in the wine industry was working as a harvest intern at Perdeberg Cooperative cellar in 2002 and 2003.
He started working at Diemersfontein Wine Estate in mid-2003 as cellar assistant and was appointed winemaker in 2006, overseeing the production of Diemersfontein’s Original Coffee Pinotage – and that’s when he fell in love with the place.
He has stayed with the estate ever since, and in September 2006 completed a harvest in Bordeaux at Chateau Bonalgue.
Towards the end of 2011 he was appointed as winemaker overseeing the full production of Diemersfontein wines.
In 2012, he completed a Diploma in Oenology at Elsenburg Agricultural College.
He has been with Diemersfontein ever since and continues to produce not only their famous Coffee Pinotage, but also all the other award-winning wines under both the Diemersfontein and Thokozani brands.
He is assisted by Brett Rightford, Klaas Windvogel and Anna Pietersen and together they make up the cellar team responsible for making the range of exceptional wines.
Pinotage is close to his heart he always says, especially since it is a uniquely South African variety. Rhône blends, Shiraz and Chenin Blanc are some of his other favourites.
Francois, his wife Elrine and their baby daughter Sophia live in Wellington with Skollie, their Jack Russell. Francois enjoys nature and loves to go on fly-fishing trips for trout – he has even been spotted fishing for the odd carp or bass at the farm!