Jeff Grier CWM

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After graduating from Stellenbosch University in 1979, Jeff gained international experience in Europe before returning to South Africa in 1981. A further 3 years of local experience gave him the confidence to go at it alone.

In 1983, the Grier family purchased Villiera and Jeff took over the wine making function in 1984. A ten-year royalty agreement with Jean Louis Denois from Champagne ensured regular contact with Europe. Although the focus of Villiera was on Methode Cap Classique in the early years, Jeff recognized the potential for Villiera to excel in other styles.

Each trip to Champagne involved visits to other regions in Europe and the desire for knowledge took him to the New World as well. In 1987, Jeff became a Cape Wine Master.

His CWM thesis was “The role of Champagne in the development of sparkling wine produced by the Methode Champenoise around the world”.

With a focus on quality and a desire to innovate Jeff has developed a relatively large range of wines on his family wine farm. This has led to exciting growth for Villiera and numerous personal achievements for Jeff Grier, like John Platters Wine Man of the Year, Diners Club Wine Maker of the Year, Winner Chenin Blanc Challenge, a number of Cap Classique trophies and top awards for his red and white wines.

After establishing Villiera, further expansion was possible. With strong connections in France, Jeff felt that the South of France was the ideal region to expand into. Since 2006 Jeff has been developing the Northern hemisphere branch of the family business in Roussillon. Domaine Grier is an exciting project, with a “Coup de Coeur” for the 2009 Galamus in the Guide Hachette, a highlight so far.

Jeff is married to Lynne and they have two children, Matthew and Kim.