Ryno Booysen

Winemaker at Wildeberg


Winemaking experience

  • Aan de Doorns Winery | Winemaker | 12 years
  • Wildeberg [Boutinot] | Winemaker | June 2016

Favourite country [other than South Africa]

Describe South Africa
An uncommon mix of culture, untamed wildlife and magnificent awe-inspiring landscape 

Gets inspiration from…
My wife and two small boys

Favourite dish
Anything with crayfish - I catch them in my spare time too!

Strangest thing ever eaten
A ‘Smiley’. It’s a South African dish… basically a cooked sheep’s head

Famous last words…
No regrets! In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take

Superhero magic power
To stop time

Wine world excitement...
Tasting the first wine of a new harvest – knowing all the hard work has paid off!

Marmite – yes or no?

About Ryno

Born and bred in the “central part of South Africa amongst maize and sunflowers”, becoming a winemaker was one of the least-likely careers for Ryno to follow. “I always had an interest in wine. My uncle was a winemaker and I’ve got great childhood memories of visiting wineries with my family… they didn’t let me take part in the tasting though!”

Ryno studied Microbiology at university “where we started doing fermentations on the metabolic pathway of saccharomyces yeast”. He then moved to the University of Stellenbosch to study viticulture and oenology (studying alongside one JD Rossouw).

The day Boutinot received the keys to Wildeberg was the day Ryno joined the team. “I arrived here and everything was just bush and chaos”. Ryno is responsible for sourcing and making Boutinot wines from Western Cape's Breedekloof, Worcester, Klein Karoo and Robertson regions, working alongside JD Rossouw who concentrates on the Coastal Region (Swartland, Paarl, Stellenbosch and Darling areas). “My aim is to find wines that tell a story… wines that sum up and express what South Africa is all about… fresh, bright, diverse and open”.

Known as the ‘Cowboy’ at his previous job because of his inventiveness, winemaking for Ryno is about pushing boundaries, being creative and hands on. “The creativity of making something that people really enjoy is a huge driving force to being a winemaker. Boutinot’s a different player in the wine scene. By that I mean we [winemakers] get involved, we want to get involved with the cellars from the start, we push ourselves and our partners to be better at all stages, from how they manage the vineyards through to what goes into each bottle… at the end of the day, we create better wines”.


Pinning down a favourite grape variety for Ryno is no mean feat! “I love working with Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot but also Cabernet because it’s not an easy cultivar to make. I love Chenin Blanc as well because it’s a cultivar that’s highly underrated in South Africa… but you can make really great Chenin Blancs”.