A legend among wine legends, a people’s person and pioneer is how the wine industry will remember Duimpie Bayly. Francis Carr (Duimpie) Bayly passed away from a heart attack on August 11 at the age of 81 in his house in Stellenbosch.
As one of the Cape Wine Academy’s first three recognised Cape Wine Masters in 1983, Duimpie leaves behind an enormous void, but also an exceptional legacy after more than 60 years working in the industry. His warm sense of humour, matched with his professional approach (and series of authoritative positions held in and beyond the South African wine industry), contributed to the fact that he was regarded as one of the industry’s most respected figures.
Read more about his contribution to the SA wine industry here.
“’Oom’ Duimpie’s friendly demeanour, mischievous smile, stories and quirks always made it great fun to be in his company,” says Francois Viljoen, manager of Vinpro’s Gen-Z Vineyard Project.
“Duimpie had remarkable knowledge and insight into the wine industry,” says Francois. “He served on so many industry associations and during the time we served with him on the Demarcation Committee (with Duimpie as chairman), my colleague Heinrich Schloms and I learned a great deal from him. True to his sociable nature, he also started the tradition of celebrating the Demarcation Committee’s approval of a new wine estate by enjoying a glass of wine in the vineyard, and pouring a bit of the wine onto the ground to ‘bless’ the estate,” Francois says.
Duimpie was committed to continuously improving the industry by supporting and providing insights into various initiatives, including the establishment of Vinpro as an independent organisation and the launch of the Gen-Z Vineyard Project.
“He will always be remembered for his positivity, passion, caring nature and exceptional knowledge of the wine industry – not to mention his witty quirks and mischievous grin!” says Vinpro MD Rico Basson. “The stories he would often recall from the past really shed some light on the amazing strides the South African wine and brandy industries have made on various fronts over the past few decades, and underlined the fact that we can stand proudly among our global competitors.”
“Duimpie was undeniably iconic, gifted and a positive thinker with a visionary approach who dedicated his life to the advancement of the wine industry and its people,” says Vinpro chairman Anton Smuts. “His knowledge and experience made him indispensable on various advisory committees, think tanks and boards. The industry has lost a respected and loved friend, colleague and mentor. His memory and legacy will live on in our hearts and minds forever.”