Born on 30th June 1942 in Robertson, on the farm Goedemoed, as the third son of Willie Bruwer (who was also born and bred in Robertson!).
André matriculated at Robertson High School in 1959 and studied at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch, ultimately becoming their Dux student in 1962.
In 1965, he settled on the farm, introduced drip irrigation, modernised the cellar, and purchased a neighboring farm. In 1983, the farm became a wine estate (translating the Afrikaans name into the French ‘Bon Courage’), and André started marketing a small selection of his wines. He received his first ‘Superior’ award, the first of many to come. From the start, André’s goal was to produce supreme-quality wines, and every year that followed, he was duly rewarded. In 1984, 1985, and 1986, he was the South African Champion Estate Winemaker of the Year, putting Robertson Valley truly on the ‘wine’ map!
André was the first winemaker on this side of the Breede River Valley to receive the prestigious Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award in 1990. André was also a pioneer in our valley, introducing night harvesting, importing a mechanical harvester, building an underground cellar, and making sparkling wine following the French tradition.
The many awards that Bon Courage has won since 1983 have truly drawn attention to Robertson, and André himself is proud to be a son of Robertson. In fact, his first words after the announcement of him winning the General Smuts Trophy were, ‘Robertson District deserves it!’
We at Bon Courage honour André for his devotion and excellence in winemaking. The numerous awards won since 1983 testify to the quality of wines produced by him. Bon Courage is proud of André Bruwer! Thank you, André, for being such a great mentor for those who will follow. You are dearly missed.