Willem Pieter Braak (affectionately known as Wim) joined our team as Brand Manager in March this year, and has already become an invaluable part of the Citrusdal Wines family.
Wim has been in the industry since 1998, when his father encouraged him to complete a wine course during his second year as a marketing student. Immediately enraptured, he began working on his wine career while still studying, taking up part time positions in the tasting rooms at Simonsig and Delheim. After completing his marketing degree, he ventured to London to work at Oddbins Wine Merchants, after which he returned to assume position as Tasting Room Manager at Rust en Vrede Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. He soon started specialising in sales, and went on to become a sales representative at Wineworx and Cape Exclusive Wine (DGB) before spending six years as National and International Sales Manager for Lourensford and Lanzerac Wines. His final venture before joining Citrusdal was at Solms-Delta, where he gained even more valuable experience in the field.
After working with so many diverse and prestigious brands, Wim knew exactly what he valued and respected in the industry. It was both the quality wine and the Fairtrade commitment of Citrusdal Wines that attracted him to the company. “Fairtrade, to me, is a ‘seal of approval’ that meets international standards and guarantees that your purchases will benefit the producers, their families and the surrounding communities. Its aim is to promote equality, empowerment and sustainability that harms neither the people nor the environment,” explains Wim, who was also excited about the opportunity to work with and learn from the legendary Charles Back and his dynamic team.
As Brand Manager, Wim is responsible for all the sales and marketing of Citrusdal Wines, both locally and abroad, and his personal passion for wine is evident in his prolific output and authentic interactions.
“While my wife and I love visiting wine farms and tasting different wines from different regions, I find that there is always an occasion for wine. Maybe it’s Wednesday night pizza night, and that R80.00 Cabernet is calling you. Or a friend drops in unexpectedly and you crack open a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. A simple glass of bubbly can transform an evening on the terrace into a celebration. Or it’s your anniversary and it’s time to break out that special wine you have been saving for a candlelit dinner. Perhaps you had a bad day at the office and the only thing that will save the day is tapas, a glass of wine, and your buddies. You decide when wine is appropriate. Then, just let it work its magic,” muses Wim on his favourite pastime.
Wim has clearly found his vocation, as he is able to spend every day at the office living according to his personal philosophy for life: “Be passionate about what you do in this life, and remember that happiness is a choice.”
We are grateful for Wim’s evident skill and unbridled enthusiasm, and look forward to continuing in the vein of success that we have enjoyed since he first joined us in March.