Johnlee’s Journey

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Esona is more than just the dream of Caryl and I.
We understand that it takes a community to make a dream come true.
We are big on creating opportunities in whichever way we can.
Doing our part to realize and nurture the potential of this beautiful country we call home.

Rowan Beattie. Founder and Co-owner

Hi I am Johnelee Pieterse

I started my journey at Esona in the year 2020 when things were really tough due to the pandemic, I was really struggling to find a job. So when I heard about the casual job at Esona I just thought to myself ‘go for it’! Lucky for me I got the job 😃.

I started of work in the vineyards from there I learned more about pruning, wine making and harvesting, all thanks to Charmaine Arendse, the winemaker.

In 2021 is was made permanent I was so grateful for the opportunity. Charmaine then approached me to ask why I don’t further my studies… (her reply to me was ‘you need to complete your matric’ She said its the starting point of any career.)

An opportunity became available at the venue and Charmaine approached me to ask if this might be something I’m interested in doing. Wow, I was scared because I didn’t know anything about wine or how to present tastings.  Charmaine told me not to worry, she would mould and train me and help me to be the best I can be

This is my story and journey at Esona from seasonal worker to general worker and now wine-tasting assistant.

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