As the son of a Windhoek hotelier, John has always been surrounded and interested by wine and food. After matriculating he decided to study architecture but soon discovered he needed something far more stimulating to fill his days. This triggered a few exciting adventures – two years of diving for diamonds off Namibia’s Skeleton Coast followed by 8 months of working and travelling in Europe. Upon returning John finally went off to Elsenburg to study wine making, applied himself fanatically and graduated as Dux student. After successful wine making stints at Moreson in Franschoek, De Wetshof in Robertson and Graham Beck Wines in Robertson John joined Steenberg in 2001 as their cellar master and has been there ever since, taking on the added responsibility of general manager in 2007.
John has been a member of the prestigious Cape Winemakers Guild since December 2004.
Silverthorn Farm was purchased by Karen’s Family in 1976 and officially taken over by John and Karen in 1999.
Karen has been involved in the daily administration of Silverthorn Farm since 1998 and has headed the
General Management of Silverthorn Wines since 2006 when the first Vintage was released.
Whilst the Farm and the Wines take up much time, Family life remains the most important aspect to life for John and Karen, proud parents of Faine and Tivon. Daughter Faine is currently at UCT, and Tivon in matric, hard at work in preparation for the following years as a UCT student. Not to be omitted, is an abiding love for dogs and particularly the Rottweiler breed, manifested in the frequently featured Rottweiler Thena, Silverthorn’s ‘Big Dog II’.
Faine, John and Karen’s daughter, has been responsible for Silverthorn’s Social Media for two years now. She brings elements of youthfulness and wonderful creativity – visible in many of the photographic images Silverthorn shares on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Faine is a 3rd year Film and Media student at UCT, with a passion for documentary film making and a love affair with the sea.