21 July 2020

KWV is excited to welcome Justin Corrans as its new Chief Winemaker. Corrans joins the KWV fold having previously served as the CEO of Breedekloof winery, Mountain Ridge. His appointment is backed by nearly twenty years of international and local wine industry experience, a meticulous approach to winemaking, sound technical knowledge and an unwavering passion for South African wine.

Corrans completed his studies in Wine Biotechnology at the University of Stellenbosch and finished with a BSc Honours. This, he followed with extensive local and international harvest experience, the latter included the Northern Rhône, France, at Domaine Francois Villard and Sonoma Valley, USA with Jackson Family Wines.  Driven by a sense of discovery and a quest for knowledge Corrans further explored the Languedoc-Roussillon region in France, the Central Valley of the USA and the Australian Riverland. This extensive travel experience not only quenched his thirst for discovery, but also exposed him, in his own words to “new ways of thinking and techniques to overcome challenges”.

Lured by KWV’s long legacy as a pivotal organisation within the South African wine industry and excited by the prospect of contributing to this legacy, Justin views his new position as “a truly great opportunity and privilege”. 

KWV CEO, Boyce Lloyd, said that Corrans brings a trifecta of skills to this important position: “Justin is an exceptionally skilled winemaker, and this he backs with valuable management skills obtained in his previous role as CEO. His academic and technical knowledge add further strength to this new role.” Lloyd added: “It is an incredibly challenging time to step up to a leadership position, but Justin has illustrated the leadership qualities needed to guide his team through the current Covid-19 pandemic and its associated challenges.”

Corrans says he is undeterred and hopes to manage this period, and other challenges, with wisdom and passion. “The wine industry is filled with challenges, but I have no doubt that the dynamic winemaking team at KWV will face these with a winning attitude. COVID has forced everyone to change their daily lives, gradual change is difficult enough but COVID has forced change on daily basis, you must be creative in problem solving and then quick to implement your plan. Then do it all again next week as you the world has changed again”

On numerous occasions, KWV’s team has managed to secure the title as the Most Admired South African wine brand in the coveted Most Admired Wine Brands survey by international publication, Drinks International, and Corrans says it is a highlight to continue this legacy: “My hope is to apply my skills to ensure that KWV’s wines continue to delight and enthrall the consumer across all its wine categories.”

For Corrans, the thrill of winemaking can be found in the unique confluence of the sciences and humanities – all delicately balanced on nature’s scale. Seasonal aspects of winemaking aside, Corrans’ daily routine at KWV will involve interaction with the entire KWV team to evaluate the progression of wine, debating winemaking techniques and styles and coordinating with the rest of KWV’s business units to ensure KWV’s wines are enjoyed around the world.