“I began farming grapes with my father in the Hex River Valley in the 1970’s. Following an educational background in finance, I purchased my first farm, Somerslus, which remains part of our vineyards today. Over the years, I expanded within and beyond the Hex, venturing into Olifant’s River Valley and later Aussenkehr, Namibia.
In 1999 I purchased Cape Orchard Co., at that time a dissolved entity, to preserve the name and rich heritage of South Africa’s first fruit export company, with roots tracing back to 1892. Today, Cape Orchard Company is South Africa’s largest exporter of table grapes, supplying the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa with 27 red, black, and white grape varieties.
Development and the opportunity to work alongside my children excite me the most. Their contributions have allowed Cape Orchard Co. to flourish. Leon founded Grape Alliance Marketing to manage our exports in-house. Arjan has implemented new production systems to streamline pack house efficiency. Anneke runs Grape Alliance Foundation, which provides for the education of our worker’s children.
I like to say that we are in the business of planting vines, creating new businesses but also of developing lives. Our investments in farms across Southern Africa allow Cape Orchard Co. to invest in people. It is in this that we see the greatest reward.“ – Gerhard de Kock
We are not only in the business of planting vines, but also of developing lives.
From left: Leon de Kock (CEO Hex River Valley), Gerhard de Kock (founder and chairman) and Arjan de Kock (CEO Olifants River)
From left (standing): Carol Carolison (Human Resources), Christian Diener (Head of Finance), Nastasha van Niekerk (Human Resources), Elizabeth Joubert (Admin South Africa), Gerhard de Kock (Founder), Petra Pienaar (Accountant Namibia), Tanya de Villiers (Accountant South Africa), Mareli Winterbach (Admin Namibia), Anélma du Toit (Human Resources), Leon de Kock, Arjan de Kock
From left (seated): Anneke de Kock (Manager GA Foundation), Anja Badenhorst (Human Resources), Sunia de Kock (Legal Advisor), Ilse van Biljon (Admin South Africa), Sunél Dark (Personal Assistant to Gerhard de Kock and Admin RSA), Charl Hugo (Technical)
From left: Charl Hugo (New varietal development), Tania Bothma (Food Safety, Quality Standards and Due diligence), Annemarie Bothma (Food Safety, Quality Standards and Due diligence) and André du Toit (Technical advisor)
Hex River Valley Farm Management
Back (from left): Niel Bothma (Idlewinds), Francois van Biljon (Môredou), Paul Joubert (Idlewinds), Christoff le Roux (Cairngorm), André Botes (Somerslus), Willem Steenkamp (De Doorns House Estate), Michael Vorster (Duikerskloof and Medoc).
Front (from left): Gerald Dark (Normandie Estate), Johan de Kock (Duikerskloof and Medoc), Jonathan Cronjé (Duikerkloof and Medoc), Anlo Schietekat (Somerslus), André du Toit (Technical advisor), Dewald Bam (Blinkwater)
Olifants River Valley Management – Arcadia Farm
From left: Theodor Erasmus (Production Manager) and Frikkie de Wet (General Manager)
Olifants River Valley Management – Sigma Farm
Front (from left): Mike Walters (Irrigation and Maintenance Manager) and Servaas Badenhorst (General Manager).
Back (from left): Louis Marais (Assistant Manager), Jaco de Wet (Assistant Manager), Hendri van Zyl (Manager), Stefan Bothma (Manager)
Aussenkehr Farm Management
From left: Sylvester Mulife (Assistant Manager), Frikkie Cornelissen (Assistant Manager), Ben Barend Grib (Assistant Manager), Peter Ihemba (Assistant Manager), Willie Joubert (Head Production Manager), Paulus Mungamba (Assistant Manager), Willem Haak (Head Production Manager), Hendrick Nyambe (Production Manager), Christo Botes (Production Manager), Willie Vermeulen (Head Production Manager), Jandré Hanekom (Production Manager), Martin Murapo (Assistant Manager)