This small family-owned business has a profound passion for wine making. Well-known winemaker Henry Kotzé (former Morgenster and now at the iconic Mulderbosch) crafts the wines for his wife, viticulturist and Pilgrim’s Brand owner Riëtte Kotzé’. They focus on innovative methods with tried and tested cultivars, as well as experimental styles with unorthodox, unfamiliar cultivars. “We like to discover the new and untried pathways in the journey of grape to bottle.” Pilgrim Wines is the “Newcomer of the Year 2021’ in the latest Platters Wine Guide. At the moment Henry and Riëtte source their grapes from small pockets of vineyards that they have come across in their everyday paths. These distinct parcels of land, happen to be in the home-grown Stellenbosch area and the amazing Voor Paardeberg regions. They partner with like-minded ethical growers and believe in leaving nothing but footprints for the next generation. “Our heart is to help and uplift people of the community that are hardest hit by this new founded reality of the pandemic and its staggering consequences on livelihoods of so many. We desire to plough back by creating job opportunities and utilizing the different phases of the winemaking cycle and Pilgrim Wines as the vehicle to lift the countenance of families in dire need. In this minor way we try to help carry and even lift each other’s burdens. Last but not least- We are mere Pilgrims travelling the road of this beautiful life, with its ups and downs. The heart of our brand is to make wines you can enjoy each day, if it be a special celebration or a “just” beautiful sunset at the end of a normal day, because to us “Your heart is where your treasure is”.
Henry Kotzé was born in the Eastern Cape but has lived in Stellenbosch most of his life, going to high school and university there and working at some of the region’s most highly regarded wineries. Most recently, he spent almost 11 years at Morgenster where he had the privilege of working closely with consultant Pierre Lurton of Chateau d’Yquem and Chateau Cheval Blanc. In 2020 he has been appointed to lead the winemaking team of the iconic Mulderbosch Vineyards. Over the more than two decades he has spent crafting numerous award winning wines in and around Stellenbosch, Henry has developed a thorough conversancy with the region’s diverse range of sites, their defining profiles and their individual nuances. He understands in such rich detail the potential of the land and knows intimately how best to coax varietal expression from specific sites.