Learn more about the people who continue to uphold and nurture the celebrated name of Klein Constantia
Klein Constantia was bought by businessmen Zdenek Bakala and Charles Harman in May 2011. In June 2012, celebrated Bordeaux wine personalities, Bruno Prats and Hubert de Boüard, merged their Stellenbosch based farm “Anwilka” with Klein Constantia.
Zdenek Bakala is a US and Czech citizen with a long and successful track record in finance and private investing. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and subsequently earned an MBA at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
Philanthropy forms an important part of Zdeněk Bakala’s life, with the main focus being the provision of support to education, leadership, independent media and the promotion of the legacy and ideas of Václav Havel, the author, playwright, thinker, human rights defender and Czech president. Click here to find out more.
Zdenek, who lives in Switzerland, maintains a residence in South Africa and has always been an admirer of the country and its wines, most especially those from the Constantia Valley. A keen cyclist, and majority shareholder in the professional cycling team “Etixx- Quick Step”, Zdenek regularly participates in the Cape Argus Cycle Tour with friends and colleagues. Zdenek is married to Michaela, with whom he has four children. He also has a son from his previous marriage.
Charles Harman is a Vice Chairman of J.P.Morgan. He has had a thirty year career in international finance. He is also co-owner and a director of Philglas & Swiggot, the London wine merchants. UK born, he was educated at Eton and Oxford. Charles lives in London but is happiest when he is at his home in Cape Town, where he has been a regular visitor since 1991.
He is a keen cyclist and tennis player and has completed the Cape Town Cycle Tour every year since 2005. He is married to Charlotte, an art historian, and they have two sons and a daughter, all of whom share his passion for the Cape.
Hubert de Boüard de Laforest from St. Emilion, France, graduated from the School of Oenology in Bordeaux and joined his family winery, Château Angélus, in 1980. By 1985 he was the estate’s director, succeeding in raising Château Angélus to Premier Grand Cru Classé status in the early 1990’s. Serving as a vital member of various wine associations, Hubert served as President of the St Emilion Viticultural Syndicate for 9 years and is a member of the National Institute of French Appelations. He has also been decorated as a Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite and Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur.
Hubert now consults for wineries around the world. Hubert owns Château La Fleur St. George in the Lalande de Pomerol appellation, where he produces La Fleur de Boüard and Le Plus de La Fleur de Boüard. In his free time, Hubert enjoys hunting, sailing, music, literature, art, and discovering vineyards around the world.
Bruno Prats has a degree in Agronomy from the Institut National Agronomique in Paris and a degree in Viticulture from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique in Montpellier .
For twenty-eight years he was the CEO and winemaker of his family vineyard Chateau Cos d’Estournel, the famed Cru Classé of Saint Estèphe in the Médoc. He is presently a managing partner in Viña Aquitania in Santiago de Chile, Alfynal in Alicante Spain and Chryseia in the Douro Valley, a wine created in partnership with the Symington family and recognised as one of Portugal’s finest wines.
Bruno is a member of the Académie du Vin de Bordeaux, Président of the Académie Internationale du Vin in Geneva and an Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite.
He lives in Switzerland with his wife France and enjoys sailing in his free time.
Swedish-born Hans Astrom joined the Klein Constantia family in January 2012 as Managing Director. Having studied economics and been voted Sweden’s best sommelier in 1986, Hans went on to work in the hospitality industry. During this period he established the Swedish Sommelier Association and helped create “Grythytteakademin”, the first academically based wine and food education programme in Sweden, and where today one can graduate with a doctorate.
Hans continued to gain invaluable experience in the international wine world, working as Director and Vice President of Sales for Peter Lehmann Wines, and thereafter assuming the role of General Manager for Hess Family Estates, spanning four continents and seven wineries.
In recent years, Hans has become a member of the acclaimed Académie du Vin (AIV).
Stephen grew up in Constantia and graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Business Science Degree and a Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting.
He registered as Chartered Accountant (SA) after completing his training contract and qualifying exams whilst at Deloitte Cape Town. During his time at Deloitte, he worked with clients in numerous industries including wine, general agriculture, oil & gas and financial services. Stephen spent 3 years as a manager working in the Financial Advisory division on projects in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
After leaving Deloitte, Stephen moved to the United Kingdom and worked in Financial Services before returning to South Africa and joining the Klein Constantia team as CFO in 2014. He became the CEO in 2020 with his focus on local operations.
Matthew grew up in Johannesburg, but a keen interest in winemaking saw him relocate to the Cape to pursue an education in this field. After graduating from Stellenbosch University with a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) Degree in Viticulture and Oenology, Matthew gained vital experience by working at various local and international estates, from Meerlust Estate in Stellenbosch to Chateau Belefont-Belcier in St Emilion, Elderton Estate in the Barossa Valley and Dancing Hares Estate in the Napa Valley.
Upon returning to South Africa in 2008, he took on the role of assistant winemaker at Klein Constantia under the guidance of Adam Mason. In 2012 he stepped up and took the reins as winemaker – becoming only the third winemaker since the farm was revived in the 1980s. Already voted as one of The Drinks Business’s Top 30 winemakers under 40 to watch, Matthew has also been named Tim Atkin’s Young winemaker of the year for 2016.
Craig’s interest and passion for wine began in 2001 but his instinct for farming stems from his teens, growing up and participating in chores on a working family farm.
His viticulturist experience to date has been in the cooler climate areas of Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and Elgin where he worked for Bouchard Finlayson and Paul Cluver Wines, respectively.
Focussing on Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc, his repertoire expanded to include Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Shiraz. Craig has participated in a harvest in Burgundy and has experience working in vineyards in Alsace.
His interest and experience with aromatic varieties and dessert wines makes Klein Constantia the perfect place for Craig to be.
Active in the South African wine industry since 1993, mostly in sales and marketing roles, but also a two-year stint in a cellar. Previous employers include boutique fine wine operations Hamilton Russell Vineyards, Bouchard Finlayson and Paul Cluver Wines.
Jacqueline joined the team in 2015 and is married to the viticulturist Craig Harris. As a resident on the wine estate, she literally lives and breathes Klein Constantia. Currently heading up marketing and sales in South Africa and Africa, she looks after some international markets too.
Describing herself as a perpetual learner, Jacqueline has a range of qualifications including a Masters degree in Wine Business Management and is a qualified librarian too.