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About us                                            CV - CLIVE TORR

Clive was born in January 1961 in Cape Town - this is rated as one of the greatest wine vintages ever!  He grew up on a sheep farm in the Karoo where his family ran a small hotel called Melton World.  It was here that he was introduced to wine at the tender age of seven years old.  The ideal combination of wine, Karoo lamb and venison obviously guided his career in the direction of fine food and fine wine.

He went to school at Bishops and his parents moved to Ceres and started fruit farming.  Clive studied Pomology at Stellenbosch and journeyed to the United States to gain some international experience in apple production.  Here, he fell in love with the winelands of California, Oregon and Washington State.  A chance meeting with Robert Mondavi in the Napa Valley inspired him to change careers and he returned to South Africa to study winemaking at Elsenburg.  He then joined Villiera as Jeff Grier's assistant winemaker.  Jeff was attempting the Cape Wine Masters exam that very year and encouraged all employees to do the Preliminary course at the Cape Wine Academy.

Teaching people about wine was such a fulfilling experience for Clive that he left winemaking and went to run the Cape Wine Academy in Johannesburg.  Here he made friends with wine guru's Michael Fridjohn and the late Peter Devereux, who helped him recruit thousands of people for wine education.  Devereux had him serving on The Readers Digest wine panel, The Diner's Club Winelist of the Year judges, Steakhouse of the Year panel and the greatest honour, The Diner's Club Winemaker of the Year judge.  He started many tasting clubs and together with doctors Mauff, Davel and von Teijlingen, all of whom have become Cape Wine Masters, tasted most of the great wines of the world.  Clive's favourite travel destination is Burgundy and Oregon.  Not surprising his thesis is titled: "Oregon Pinot Noir - Can South Africa compare?"  He received the title of Cape Wine Master in June 1994,then took up the post of PR Manager Nederburg ,eventually becoming market Development manager for the Distell group, before being called back to run the Cape Wine Academy in 2003.He then founded his own company, Topaz Wine cc specialising in hand –crafted wines, entertaining tasting presentations, Wine education and wine tours.

His hobbies include surfing, cycling, trout fishing and obviously wine tasting!  He most recently completed his 31st consecutive Argus Cycle Tour. Clive, lives in Somerset West with his daughter Juliet Jennifer.  He makes his own wine, both here and in France.

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