The French have been growing grapes and producing wine in the Western Cape since 1688 – When the Huguenots fled religious persecution in Louis XIV's France. Marianne Wine Estate represents a 21st Century enterprise to produce French-style wines that honour both the South African terroir, and the 2000-year-old heritage of Bordeaux winemaking.
Marianne is a young, vital woman, a fictional character who personifies the French Republic and its ideals: Liberty, Brotherhood, and Equality. She is the face on European Union Euro coins, French postage stamps, and New York City's Statue of Liberty.
Marie-Anne was a very popular female first name in France in the late 18th century. The first record use of the name "Marianne" to describe the French Republic comes from 1792.
Originally, depictions of Marianne were crafted to conceal the features of any one recognizable model. For the last 50 years, however, the French government has enlisted a succession of celebrities to lend their faces to this personification of the French Republic. Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, and Laetitia Casta have each appeared, cast in stone, in Town Halls throughout France.
The town of Stellenbosch and the Simonsberg mountain are both named in honour of Simon van der Stel. van der Stel was the first Governor of the Cape Colony and the founder of South Africa's oldest Wine Estate: Groot Constantia. Stellenbosch was established in 1679, making it the second oldest town in South Africa, after Cape Town.
Alex was raised in France, to an American mother and a French Father. He completed a law degree at the Sorbonne and Cornell Law School in Ithaca, USA.
After working as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer in New York City for five years Alex returned to studying, completing an MBA at Insead Graduate Business School, Singapore and Fontainebleau campuses.
Alex spent four years working in the online division for EF Education, a Swedish Language Organisation in London. It is while working here that Alex met Jana, now his wife. Alex says that Jana's South African heritage is what provided the reason for him to move to South Africa finally, and pursue a career in Wine.
Francois was born in Cape Town, and grew up exploring Wine Cellars. He has spent the last two decades in Stellenbosch, earning his degree in Viticulture and Oenology from Stellenbosch University.
Francois completed internships at Neil Ellis Wine Estate, Western Cape, Dry Creek Vineyard (Sonoma, California), and Jackson Estate in Marlborough, New Zealand.
Francois was the Winemaker at Waterford Wine Estate from 2004 until 2012.
Originally from Cape Town, Jana graduated from Stellenbosch University. She lived and worked in the Far East for two years, following which she spent 10 years in the United Kingdom, culminating in her time spent as a Project Manager for EF Education, a Swedish Language Organization in London, England.
Tom is from the sunniest part of the UK, Suffolk, and moved from London to Cape Town at the beginning of 2013 after a number of agreeable visits to the South Africa.
Tom holds a degree in English literature and is currently extending his Wine Trade education with his studies through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).
Daleen is from the Free State, by way of Cape Town. She received her qualification in Restaurant Management from Durbanville College. Before joining the Marianne Wine Estate and Guesthouse Team, Daleen worked for Delheim , Aan de Paarlberg Guesthouse, Feedem Services, and Cafe Dulce.