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Berene Sauls is a descendant of the freed African Khoi slaves who, in 1832, were bequeathed the Tesselaarsdal valley land by the widow of former East India Company settler Johannes Tesselaar. Almost two centuries on, Berene began her winemaking career after working as an au pair looking after the children of Hamilton Russell Vineyards' winemaker in 2001 before taking on an administrative position at the winery. Her curiosity soon turned towards the delicate process from grape to bottle, the much-layered wine culture and living the excitement of each harvest. Fifteen years later with the expert assistance of Hamilton Russell Vineyards winemaker Emul Ross and his team, she founded her own winery and released her first wine in 2015 under her Tesselaarsdal label in homage to her village and family legacy. Four years later Berene acquired 16 hectares of farm land in her hamlet, not far from the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge wine appellation, which will eventually be planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

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