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Interested in a career in the wine industry? Then listen up. Elunda Basson, general manager and cellar master at Steenberg Winery, has all the advice you need right here.

Elunda started her winemaking career with the harvest of 1998, before joining the Steenberg team in 2019. Her love of working with wine, she explains, is deeply rooted in it being a living, changing product of nature. Another boon is the spirit of collaboration with her business partners – a driving force in the brand’s success.

Here, she tells Go Hustle all about it…

 

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So, how do you get into the wine industry?

You can study winemaking at the University of Stellenbosch or the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute, after which you’ll need exposure to cellar and vineyard work via practical experience here or abroad. Elunda studied viticulture and oenology at the University of Stellenbosch and Elsenburg. Internships are a common way of getting into this industry, even while studying, she adds. Often cellars look to support young winemakers by getting them in during harvesting season as cellar workers.

READ MORE: Mbali Nwoko Is Making Her Mark In Farming – And She Has This Advice

Elunda cherishes the opportunity of working in the oldest wine appellation of the New World and has set her sights on securing Steenberg’s rightful place as a producer of top-tier Sauvignon Blanc. Her experience as a red winemaker early on in her career perfectly positions her to create Steenberg signature reds.

 

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And the secret to making it in the industry?

“Hard work, passion and dedication to your craft always pay,” says Elunda. “Once or twice in my career, I’ve had to push a little harder to convince people of my skills and my worth as a winemaker. But I’m a fairly determined person with a competitive personality, so these challenges just made me work harder to prove myself and show that I deserved my seat at the senior management level.”

Any advice on leadership? “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make a tough decision, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others,” she says.

 

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Connect with Elunda

@Steenbergwines @ElundaBasson

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