“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” –Henry Ford
Talia has been recently appointed as Ayama General Manager. She started working at Ayama 2 years ago this month, now leading the team with strength, passion and respect. We did interview her and the answers say it all.
What made you to decide to study viticulture?
“ I actually wanted to be a chef, but the field was becoming quite populated and I wanted to be a qualified winemaker and chef for when I own my restaurant one day…I originally enrolled to Elsenburg to study winemaking. The plan was to do cellar technology, but I when I was doing my practical for Agricultural Diploma, I fell in love with Viticulture and being outside in nature.”
How was your experience at Elsenburg Collegue?
“I LOVED IT! It was a totally new experience for me, coming from Bellville and being the first person in my family to go into farming. I experienced a lot my firsts in terms of farming at Elsenburg. Even gaining ownership of my first pair of Wellington boots- beautiful black boots with blue and pink polka dots which fatefully left my side after a short 2 months.”
What is your “viticulturist” dream?
“My dream as viticulturist is to be able to make a change within the industry in terms of farming practices and being a part of introducing more different cultivars in South Africa. My dream is also to encourage transformation in the industry in terms of gender and race.”
Tell us what Ayama means for you.
“To me Ayama means family and support and knowing that there is somebody that will always be there for you if needed.”
How do find the experience of being “Ayama General Manager”?
“This is a first for me and definitely challenging, but I’m enjoying it and learning a lot each day. On a day where you have your first cup of coffee around 11am, two of your tractors are having flat tires, the sheep constantly escape from the kraal attacking Attilio’s artichokes, one of the ducks have decided to fly away, and a bull has wondered over to the farm next door- it’s usually days like these when the team sticks together and each person brings their piece to the table to get jobs done. I really appreciate days like these, it makes me thankful to be working with a team that has so much love for the farm and whom are willing to go the extra mile.”
Has your family been supportive with your choices? School, carrier, achievements.
“ALWAYS. I come from a close-knit family of 6. My family is my foundation in my life and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their constant love and support.”
What is your favourite wine?
“I think it’ll be a bit biased if I said AYAMA Vermentino 2016….so I’ll go with the Thelema Sauvignon blanc 2013.”
How would you inspire young generation to study and aim to a professional carrier as you did?
“I would tell the young generation that in modern era in which we are living, nothing is impossible. There are so many opportunities and funds available for young people, they just need to go out there and find it. If they have a dream they should go for it by setting goals and working hard. The worst thing anybody can tell them is no, which is okay. Set-backs make for some of the best come-backs.”
Tell us your favourite Mandela’s quote.
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.”
What is your next goal?
“My next goal would definitely be to strengthen my tractor knowledge, and learn how to fix a tractor.”