Ken Forrester Wines

About Ken:

Ken Forrester started a career in the Hotel industry with Southern Sun, in the early days of Sol Kerzner, way back in 1977, after a 3-year course in Hotel Management at the Johannesburg Hotel School.  He then went on to specialise in the restaurant trade, buying a share in one of the best restaurants of the day in the centre of Johannesburg, and from there a string of other restaurants and related activities culminating in being elected Chairman of the Federated Hospitality Association of SA (FEDHASA).

Then in 1993 he and his wife, Teresa, bought the farm on a public auction. Still his love for food and wine dictated and from 1993 – 1999 he was Chairman of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.

Ken was a founder member of the Chenin Blanc Association and as Chairman he plays an important role in promoting the variety and image of Chenin Blanc both in local and international markets. 

Ken’s philosophy has always been to create a range of handcrafted, individually made wines that suitably complement a wide variety of food styles and provide excellent value.

More history:

The historic farm Scholtzenhof is one of the oldest wine farms in the Western Cape and was originally granted as Zandberg in 1689. 

In 1993, with a young family Ken and his wife Teresa set their hearts on this historic vineyard in Stellenbosch. The Cape Dutch homestead, built in 1694, had stood vacant and derelict when they bought it on a public auction.  A massive renovation was undertaken, both in the vineyards and the house.                                                                                                             

With most of the vineyard planted to Chenin Blanc it was decided to enlist the help of good friend and top winemaker, Martin Meinert, with the quest to produce Chenin Blanc that could rival any white wine in the world.  In 1994 the first wines were produced under the Ken Forrester label and soon the award-winning wines were at the forefront of the Chenin Blanc revival.                                                   

Since then the range of top quality wine has received massive national and international acclaim with literally hundreds of awards and accolades. The wines are broadly available in reputable restaurants and exported around the globe.

Ken’s assistant is Shawn Mathyse

Shawn was born in Stellenbosch and grew up on Kleine Zalze.  He matriculated in 2006 at Stellenzicht Senior Secondary, obtained a high certificate in agriculture with viticulture and pomology as major subjects at Cape Institute for agriculture training: Elsenburg in 2010.  He is very passionate about winemaking and wines, so he continued studies in winemaking and in 2014 he obtained a diploma in cellar technology, also at CIAT: Elsenburg.

He is very knowledgeable, with a love for Chenin Blanc and involved in special projects like Dirty Little Secret and also The Barrel.