Ntsiki grew up in Mahlabathini, a rural village in Kwazulu Natal, and matriculated from high school in 1996. Having spent a year as a domestic worker, she was awarded a scholarship to study winemaking in 1999. She graduated in 2003 with a BSc in Agriculture (Viticulture and Oenology) at Stellenbosch University and joined boutique winery Stellekaya Wines the following year.
Ntsiki’s ambition to create her own wines grew following a collaboration with Californian winemaker, Helen Kiplinger, as part of Mika Bulmash’s Wine for the World initiative. In addition, she has consulted in France, making wine under Winemakers Collection in Bordeaux.
Finally, she sits on the board of directors for the Pinotage Youth Development Academy, which provides technical training and personal development for young South Africans in the Cape Winelands, preparing them for work in the wine industry. The programme offers them the unique opportunity to emulate her own considerable success.