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Elunda Basson

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Tucked away in the heart of the beautiful Devon Valley just outside Stellenbosch, winemaker Elunda Basson, masterfully creates the sparkling wines that have become a household name at South Africa's leading house of sparkling wine - The House of J.C. Le Roux.

Elunda studied viticulture and oenology for two years at the University of Stellenbosch. She then transferred to the Elsenburg Agricultural College where she completed her Higher Certificate in Agriculture and a Diploma in Cellar Technology in 1997, which also included a study tour to Italy.

As the bubbly brain behind the sought after J.C. Le Roux Methode Cap Classique (MCC) and sparkling wines has been the highlight of Elunda's career thus far and she sees this great opportunity as the beginning of what is probably the greatest chapter of her career.

Elunda's career started off working harvests as an assistant winemaker at Rickety Bridge Vineyards in Franschhoek with David Lockley and then with Boela Gerber. She also spent a harvest at Dry Creek Vineyards in Sonoma County in California. At Nederburg Wines, Elunda worked as assistant winemaker with Hennie Huskisson and after a year she was appointed red winemaker in 2001. During her seven years at Nederburg, Elunda received great acknowledgement as winemaker.

People who had a great influence and helped to shape Elunda's career have been Charles Hopkins (De Grendel Wines) and Razvan Macici (Nederburg Winemaker). From Hopkins, she learnt that a passion for wine equals a passion for life equals happiness, while she learnt to appreciate the artistry and enjoyment of making beautiful wine from Macici.

Elunda describes her own wine-making philosophy as follows: "I believe the wine maker is the vehicle through which the product of the vine is transformed into a product of pure enjoyment."

Elunda has always been passionate about nature, agriculture and the winelands. "We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world and my work allows me to appreciate and enjoy some of the greatest pleasures in life on a daily basis - good wine, good food and good company," she said.

When relaxing at home with her husband and two children, her favourite MCC is J.C. Le Roux Scintilla, as it is such a fresh, vibrant and utterly refreshing Methode Cap Classique that it's easy to enjoy at any occasion. Apart from wine-making, Elunda's other passions include traveling, spending time with friends and family and not forgetting Italian things.