Meet the speakers: Charl du Plessis and Jean-Baptiste Cristini

Charl du Plessis

Charl du Plessis – Spice Route Winemaker

Born and raised in Mossel Bay in South Africa, Charl moved down to the Cape and attended Elsenburg Agriculture College in Stellenbosch from 1989 to 1991, completing a three year course in Viticulture and wine cellar technology. He started work at Boland Cellar in 1992 as an assistant winemaker and was promoted to senior winemaker at Boland Cellar in 1996, a positition he held until 1999. During this time Charl worked with Anthony de Jager (who would later take up a position at Fairview Wine Estate) as well as spending a harvest in Burgundy in 1997, at Piére Bouree & Fills in Chevrey-Chambertin. At the end of 1999 Charl moved to a brand new cellar in Tulbagh – Rijk’s Private Cellar. Moving to Rijk’s after eight years at a big co-operative, was quite an adjustment, but was an exciting and dramatic change. It proved to be the correct move and Rijk’s Private Cellar received numerous awards in the first two years of existence. After two vintages (2000 and 2001) at Rijk’s, Charl was approached by Spice Route owner Charles Back, who had had a keen eye on Charl for a while. He offered him the winemaker position at Spice Route, and from his first day he has never looked back. Charl is married to Michelle and they have two daughters. He enjoys cycling and diving, and is a passionate golfer.


Jean-Baptiste Cristini – Spice Route Brand Manager

“I take care of Spice Route Wine Company. I have wanted to work with wine since I was 14 years old.”
Tista has a wife, Berenne and a daughter Zola. His daughter is 21 months old and enjoys Cape Town immensely! Born and raised in the Cape, he is half ‘Capetonian’ half ‘Burgundian’. He has spent exactly half his life in Cape Town and the other half in France between Burgundy and Champagne. His other passions are Sherry and cocktails. He also dabbled in home brewing when living in Champagne in France, but no need for that now since CBC makes the greatest beers!
“My favourite wines are Spice Route Chakalaka and Fairview Nurok; blends are the way to go!

Charl and Tista will be presenting the Interactive Spice Route Destination culinary journey in food and wine pairing. This pairing has been developed especially for Indaba 2014 and is exclusive to all delegates who book for and attend this workshop. Get there!


And if the prospect of this amazing wine and food culinary journey has not yet persuaded you to attend the indaba, have you seen our funky venue?  And have you heard that we will be auctioning off some truly amazing prizes in a charity auction to raise funds for the South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind, our chosen charity for 2014?  Want to buy a ticket? Click here to register now. See you at the Indaba!

If you’d like a nifty Indaba badge to display in your sidebar, please e-mail Colleen  and she will send you the code!


I appreciate your comment. Please leave one for me....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s