Bertie van der Merwe of the farm Alvi’s Drift.

Bertie van der Merwe, a well-known farmer from the Worcester district, will be remembered as a pillar of strength in the Western Cape wine and agricultural circles. He passed away of a heart attack on 2 August 2021 at the age of 83.

Bertie was at the helm of his family’s farm, Alvi’s Drift, for many years, as one of the country’s largest private wine farmers. He was also the former chairman of the South African Brandy Foundation and served on the KWV’s board. Over the years he built up the wine grape farm and expanded to citrus, dairy, poultry, pigs and deciduous fruit.

Read more about his contributions.

“Oom Bertie van der Merwe lived close to the land and soil. A farmer and smart man who was always ready to make new plans, whether at farm, business or industry level, he has made a lasting impression on the wine and brandy industry,” says Vinpro chairman Anton Smuts.

“He served the South African wine industry with dedication and passion, and with an enormous amount of knowledge and understanding of the various facets of the industry. For him, it was important that the industry is profitable and adaptable in the long term, with well-planned strategies. A mighty tree has fallen; we’ve lost a great man who could not only think on his feet, but was always ready to execute.”


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