Corlien’s journey started on the family farm in Ceres, Koelfontein, where her dad, apart from fruit, also grew grapes for KWV and Romansrivier Co-op. Corlien’s grandfather, Zulch, was well known as one of the few “Witblits stokers” of the Cape, using Hanepoot, and today the tradition lives on as her family still has an annual “stook dag” in the registered copper still on the farm. Wine was thus part of the lifestyle on this Boland farm and as children the introduction of wine at the Sunday lunch table started at an early age.
After studying at Cape Town Hotelschool, Corlien worked in 5 star hotels in London and SA, until one day she decided that wine needs to take center stage in her life. A few years at Caroline’s Fine Wine Cellar and she was hooked on retail. It was the most fantastic few years of learning about wine from one of the Cape’s best ladies in the business.
After some time at Wine Magazine, where she broadened her knowledge around who’s who in the Cape Winelands, she joined the Wine Concepts team in Cape Town. Very soon she tackled the task of opening a branch in Johannesburg and the rest is history. 2012 saw the opening of the first Gauteng store and not long after she went independent and established Wine Menu as it is known today.
Corlien believes in constantly learning and growing her own knowledge. The wine world is complex and impossible to fully master. She has completed
WSET level 3 with distinction
UCT GSB Wine Judging Academy by Michael Fridjon with distinction
Corlien loves sharing her knowledge and wine experiences with her customers and anybody who wants to learn a bit more. You’ll find her in the shop most days chatting to people about wine for hours. Sometimes she even sells a few bottles. Pop in to meet her next time you’re near.