Peter and Jami Kastner are the owner-managers, who live on the farm with their two young boys, Jack and Alex (winemakers-in-training). Peter owned a restaurant and Jami a flower export company before 2005, when they sold up and invested with their family into what was then a portion of Weltevrede Farm, with four hectares of Pinotage for small production and one self-catering cottage for rental.
Today the estate is known as Stanford Hills, with 6 wine labels exported to 11 countries, a 100 seater restaurant and accommodation for 57 people. The farm is also a popular venue for weddings and hosts a variety of fun events and outdoor music events including their winter craft beer festival and the Stanford Stumble in November.
Peter has no formal wine training, but has learnt on the job, with what he describes as a pretty steep learning curve! He does most work by hand in the small cellar set in one half of an aircraft hangar on the farm, and believes in minimum interference to allow the grapes to express their own unique characteristics. He believes in the quality of the grapes, which are slow ripening due to the cool sea breezes in the area and carefully managed to give optimum yield. As he says “It’s possible to make a bad wine from good grapes, but there is no way you can make good wine if your grapes aren’t up to scratch.”
Jami manages The Tasting Room, the estate restaurant, where the kids often help out too. She is a published author of Sam and Me and the Hard Pear Tree, published by Jacana, and has recently opened The Butterfly Centre in Stanford. This centre is a non-profit organization offering a variety of beneficial activities for children in the area with special needs.