I left Germany after my final exams when I turned 22, spending 10 months backpacking through Namibia and South Africa, where I met a young wine farmer called Danie Steytler.
I had plans (and a flight ticket) to carry on traveling to Australia but first spent another four months in Malawi working on a Leprosy project when Danie followed me and in a crazy 'heart-over-head' decision we decided to get married. Swopped the ticket to Australia for a ticket to Germany and got married in my home town Bremen in the end of 1979.
As a farmer's wife I had to learn Afrikaans and besides raising our own two children, I had to be a nurse, midwife, taxi driver, teacher, social worker and general mother to the coloured community living on our farm.
Due to financially hard times I started three businesses, in retail, production and service: I opened a grocery shop for our people, farmed with broilers for 12 years and even built and ran my own abattoir, before doing a bookkeeping diploma and helping my husband in his office.
Over 30 years of experience as a wine farmer's and winemaker's wife have been the best possible education in wine and since 1997 I am concentrating on finding and developing export markets for our Kaapzicht wines, my German passport being of great use when it comes to jet-setting around the world, attending wine shows, visiting customers and giving wine tastings.
I take my responsibility towards the people on our estate seriously, I am truly passionate about South Africa, wine, nature and animals and also about travelling and getting to know other countries and cultures.
I am very thankful that my life is so rich and exciting, colour and meaningful - it incorporates everything I love.