van der Merwe, Lieza

Year Qualified: 2021

Lieza van der Merwe, Winemaker (Merwida Vineyards) is from the small town of Rawsonville in the Breedekloof.  Having grown up on their family farm, Merwida, Lieza always knew she wanted to pursue a career in winemaking. As a young girl she was happiest on the farm and in the winery alongside her dad, Schalk van der Merwe.

Lieza completed her winemaking degree (BSc Agric-Viticulture and Oenology) at Stellenbosch University from 2009-2012. Her first harvest was done at Groot Constantia under the watchful eye of Boela Gerber (fellow CWM). Lieza then went on to do two overseas harvests in Sonoma (California) and Pfalz (Germany). Having experienced the overseas wine world it was time to return home and Lieza joined the Merwida Team permanently in 2015. Here she worked as winemaker alongside Magnus Kriel for 8 years.

In 2020, Lieza left her harvest boots behind to take over the management of Huis Te Merwede, Merwida Wines’ new tasting room facility. She is now managing this facility and doing Merwida’s marketing. She loves all things wine and becoming a Cape Wine Master has always been a very far-away dream. Lieza is excited to join the CWM family as of 2021.

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Dissertation Topic

How have the extreme climatic conditions of the past few years (2015-2018) affected the South African Wine Industry, with a specific focus on drought conditions?