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Few of us have chosen our clubs , they have simply been presented to us” – Nick Hornby

As a football fan, this famous quote from Nick Hornby has accompanied me half my life and is often interpreted in German to mean "that you don't choose your football club, you are chosen by it."

Mobility was my passion

I have spent most of my professional life successfully and passionately in the mobility industry. I have worked in senior roles at great companies such as Europcar, car2go, WeShare and unu. My field of activity included different business models with cars, bicycles, mopeds and scooters or were purely platform-based. But it was time to do something completely new.

valleygrapes came to me even though I wasn't looking for it

At the end of 2022 I wanted to recover from my last engagement in the mobility world and clear my head for new things and I traveled to South Africa with part of my family. Many of you know from your own experience how great this country and its people are and it wasn't our first time there either.

This time we took the opportunity to visit Almé Jordaan's family, who is studying and training in the USA with our daughter Jette. The Jordaan family is the third generation to run the beautiful Theuniskraal winery in the Tulbagh Valley, which we were very impressed and fascinated by.

This positive impression was reinforced by a delicious wine tasting, where Andries Jordaan took us on an exciting journey through the history of the winery and the Tulbagh Valley. We were able to enjoy many wines and were immediately thrilled by the taste and variety of these wines.

Theuniskraal and Andries Jordaan were the inspiration for valleygrapes

The tasting ended with the trend-setting sentence from Andries, “Thomas, in the past I exported more to Europe and I would like to do so in the future again.” My answer came intuitively, spontaneously and very surprisingly for my family when I said that I had a lot of time at the moment, that I knew a few people from the beverage, catering and event sectors and that I would “find out more”.

valleygrapes is the virtual place for all Tulbagh wines in Europe

The result of this rather coincidental visit is the founding of two GmbHs, the creation of the “valleygrapes” brand, the implementation of a logistics concept from South Africa to Europe and the opening of an online shop in November 2023. valleygrapes only sells wines from the wineries are produced in the Tulbagh Valley. Today valleygrapes has around 50 wines from 7 wineries in its portfolio. The goal is to offer all 140 wines from all 14 wineries in the future.

The journey is just beginning and I would like to take you with me

Customers are already experiencing the great potential of these distinctive wines and I believe that it is time for you too to experience the sun and lifestyle of the Tulbagh Valley - simply from home.

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