KASTEELBERG INSPIRED
Rhône Blends & Cape Botanicals

Our Story

There might not be a hammer-yielding god luring in the wings, but the inspiration behind this brand is fuelled by a thundering desire to make wine with character and personality. As you join us on this vinous journey, you too will find the strength of this mythical figure channeled through the courage of one humble, family man.

We invite you to step into the world of Thor Vintners, a winery nestled in the heart of the Swartland. Here we focus on small-batch artisanal wines inspired by ultra-premium Rhône blends, only bringing it home to this unique corner of the world. Our vision is to specialize in Swartland grapes and where the selection and vinification thereof are intended to become rare and iconic blends.

WINE-FUELED

Passion & Dedication

At Thor Vintners, we believe in focusing on what we do best. We hope to entice you with the art of blending and to fall in love with the detail we believe will help pioneer us as an artisanal and bespoke winery. The importance of family and for you to enjoy our products as much as we do remain the ultimate achievement for everything we have in store.
Under the auspices of Thor Vintners, both the GENTIS and BADLANDS brands celebrate Wine of Origin Swartland, rooted in a wealth of flavour, and aroma unlocked with fine-tuning every blend. Our quest lies in discovering the rough diamonds in selected vineyard blocks and guiding its ultimate expression like never tasted before.

EXCLUSIVE

Craftmanship

Proudly South African and in a wine country that is now at the pinnacle of viticulture and viniculture, we enjoy the freedom of employing both new and old-world methods. A more traditional approach has proved to genuinely harness the concentration found in the grapes of these arid grain plains, resulting in wines with great elegance and finesse. The intensity of the fruit remains the hero in this story, and we are creating the thunder it deserves.

REBELLIOUS

“ Regional Passion”

Every family has a maverick swimming upstream. Thor Vintners’ third range, called Age of the Rebel, is a series of wines dedicated to wine regions outside the Swartland boundaries and focusing on regional wine style expressions.

While life is too short to keep sleeping rebels lie, what started as a one-label brand swiftly expanded to become an exciting portfolio of niche and bold products. Casting the net even wider for blends here, the diversity of the range is utilised with a variety of Rhone and Bordeaux-style blends, including barrel matured white blends that exude personality.
So yes, we believe that we offer something for everyone.

Other THOR Brands & Adventures

While epic Swartland red blends remain central to the Thor-theme, strategy allowed room for the commercial brands like Long Mountain and Gecko Ridge, the ex-Pernod Ricard brands, joining its ranks. These commercial brands are dedicated to the export route to markets only.

Apart from erecting Thor Vintners into becoming a competitive wine entity, Emile Gentis is the recipe and product developer and a founder member of Ceder’s Alt-Gin products. A thirsty yet responsible consumer can now also indulge in non-alcoholic alt-gin spirits as lockdown stilted the importance of zero-alcohol beverages in our offering. His vast wine-blending experience led Emile to develop three Ceder’s Alt-Gin products for Ceder’s Drinks Ltd in 2018. It took a year of tediously blending different botanical distillates and extracts to achieve just the right amount of weight, texture, and freshness, mimicking a similar feeling of an alcoholic spirit. Delightfully so, three perfectly crafted Gin-like products joined the NOLO category of global drinks.

Ceder’s is currently the 2nd largest non-alcoholic spirit brand globally, being distributed by the giant drinks company Pernod Ricard in more than 30 different markets. Ceder’s (and Emile, as founder member) sold majority shareholding to Pernod Ricard holding in 2020.

In early 2021, Emile and his lifelong friend, Andrew Starke, decided to make the world’s first 100% Wood Fired Hydro Distilled Juniper Botanical Spirit, the base product for their premium non-alcoholic ‘gin’, called ORIGIIN. Origiin of Kamma-Kan Kamma is a first of its kind, produced on the organic certified farm, De Poort in the Overberg region in South Africa.

In addition, a collaboration between Thor Vintners and Southbound Distillery has also welcomed the first South Africa Classic Dry Gin to the Thor Vintners drinks portfolio.

Slinging the hammer full-circle, Thor Vintners now includes the Swartland oenophile, the Badlands explorer, the Southbound spirit chaser, and the millennial craze for Origiin’s wood-fired hydro distilled non-alcoholic gins from the Overberg.

KASTEELBERG INSPIRED
Rhône Blends & Cape Botanicals

Our Story

There might not be a hammer-yielding god luring in the wings, but the inspiration behind this brand is fuelled by a thundering desire to make wine with character and personality. As you join us on this vinous journey, you too will find the strength of this mythical figure channeled through the courage of one humble, family man.

We invite you to step into the world of Thor Vintners, a winery nestled in the heart of the Swartland. Here we focus on small-batch artisanal wines inspired by ultra-premium Rhône blends, only bringing it home to this unique corner of the world. Our vision is to specialize in Swartland grapes and where the selection and vinification thereof are intended to become rare and iconic blends.

WINE-FUELED

Passion & Dedication

At Thor Vintners, we believe in focusing on what we do best. We hope to entice you with the art of blending and to fall in love with the detail we believe will help pioneer us as an artisanal and bespoke winery. The importance of family and for you to enjoy our products as much as we do remain the ultimate achievement for everything we have in store.
Under the auspices of Thor Vintners, both the GENTIS and BADLANDS brands celebrate Wine of Origin Swartland, rooted in a wealth of flavour, and aroma unlocked with fine-tuning every blend. Our quest lies in discovering the rough diamonds in selected vineyard blocks and guiding its ultimate expression like never tasted before.

EXCLUSIVE

Craftmanship

Proudly South African and in a wine country that is now at the pinnacle of viticulture and viniculture, we enjoy the freedom of employing both new and old-world methods. A more traditional approach has proved to genuinely harness the concentration found in the grapes of these arid grain plains, resulting in wines with great elegance and finesse. The intensity of the fruit remains the hero in this story, and we are creating the thunder it deserves.

REBELLIOUS

“ Regional Passion”

Every family has a maverick swimming upstream. Thor Vintners’ third range, called Age of the Rebel, is a series of wines dedicated to wine regions outside the Swartland boundaries and focusing on regional wine style expressions.

While life is too short to keep sleeping rebels lie, what started as a one-label brand swiftly expanded to become an exciting portfolio of niche and bold products. Casting the net even wider for blends here, the diversity of the range is utilised with a variety of Rhone and Bordeaux-style blends, including barrel matured white blends that exude personality.
So yes, we believe that we offer something for everyone.

Other THOR Brands & Adventures

While epic Swartland red blends remain central to the Thor-theme, strategy allowed room for the commercial brands like Long Mountain and Gecko Ridge, the ex-Pernod Ricard brands, joining its ranks. These commercial brands are dedicated to the export route to markets only.

Apart from erecting Thor Vintners into becoming a competitive wine entity, Emile Gentis is the recipe and product developer and a founder member of Ceder’s Alt-Gin products. A thirsty yet responsible consumer can now also indulge in non-alcoholic alt-gin spirits as lockdown stilted the importance of zero-alcohol beverages in our offering. His vast wine-blending experience led Emile to develop three Ceder’s Alt-Gin products for Ceder’s Drinks Ltd in 2018. It took a year of tediously blending different botanical distillates and extracts to achieve just the right amount of weight, texture, and freshness, mimicking a similar feeling of an alcoholic spirit. Delightfully so, three perfectly crafted Gin-like products joined the NOLO category of global drinks.

Ceder’s is currently the 2nd largest non-alcoholic spirit brand globally, being distributed by the giant drinks company Pernod Ricard in more than 30 different markets. Ceder’s (and Emile, as founder member) sold majority shareholding to Pernod Ricard holding in 2020.

In early 2021, Emile and his lifelong friend, Andrew Starke, decided to make the world’s first 100% Wood Fired Hydro Distilled Juniper Botanical Spirit, the base product for their premium non-alcoholic ‘gin’, called ORIGIIN. Origiin of Kamma-Kan Kamma is a first of its kind, produced on the organic certified farm, De Poort in the Overberg region in South Africa.

In addition, a collaboration between Thor Vintners and Southbound Distillery has also welcomed the first South Africa Classic Dry Gin to the Thor Vintners drinks portfolio.

Slinging the hammer full-circle, Thor Vintners now includes the Swartland oenophile, the Badlands explorer, the Southbound spirit chaser, and the millennial craze for Origiin’s wood-fired hydro distilled non-alcoholic gins from the Overberg.

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Our Exclusive Wine Ranges

  • WINEMAKER ON OUR FAMILY FARM, DE MORGENZON (DMZ)

    After completing his winemaking degree at Elsenburg, Emile joined the family in Stellenbosch as their winemaker at De Morgenzon – L’Emigre wines.

  • PERNOD RICARD

    After completing his post-winemaking degree and working at several wine estates, Emile ended up at Pernod Ricard as their Chief winemaker and later their Business Development Manger.

  • RHÔNE RANGERS

    The start of Thor Vintners aka The Rhône Rangers – The combination of friends who started to make wine as true Garagistas. We started in Rupert & Rothchild’s (Fredriksburg) Estate manager’s garage! After that, we moved it to our beach house near Hermanus… and it ended up in the heart of Durbanville.

    I tribute to my Rhône Ranger friends Bryan, Anthony, Jan Brand, Renier, Damon, Mark, Kurt, Morne and Riaan

  • THOR VINTNERS

    Thor Vinters the brand, design and story took shape as the “ultra premium” brother to the Pernod Ricard commercial brands, Long Mountain & Gecko Ridge… “I was fascinated by the small batches of wine, I saw and found in the Cape Winelands, while working as Pernod Ricard’s winemaker.”

  • LONG MOUNTAIN & GECKO RIDGE

    Ex-Pernod Ricard brands, Long Mountain, Gecko Ridge and Athena join the Thor stable. We needed some commercial mass and foundation to our premium brands. Emile Gentis was the winemaker for Pernod Ricard South Africa from 2006 – 2014 and was asked to take over these brands again.

  • AGE OF THE REBEL

    Finally, Thor Vintners has launched their ultra premium small batch wines. Hand waxed and written labels were applied individually to each numbered bottle. It is easy…. “If the batch is gone… it is gone!“ We want to create small unique wine drinking experiences, which you only have one chance to experiment with and never again.

  • THE BOTANIK ALCHEMIST … A STEP INTO THE UNKNOWN

    I studied Fynbos Horticulture and even tried my hand at growing some proteas on our old farm, De Morgenzon. The combination of wine blending, working with spirit products and the love for Fynbos botanicals and their amazing oils, was possibly where our story started… the road where the Small Batch Wine Blender, ventures into the world of Fynbos botanicals and essential oils….playing with tinctures and hydrosols… The Botanik Alchemist

  • CEDER’S DISTILLED NON-ALCOHOLIC ALT-GIN

    Craig, Maria, Caroline and Emile, the 4 founder members of Ceder’s Drinks Ltd, start off their new brand, Ceder’s Alt-Gin with the spirit giant, Pernod Ricard as distribution partner and first non-alcoholic brand, joining their massive spirit portfolio. It is super exciting to stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Jameson, Chivas, Absolute, Havanna, Beefeater, Olmeca,… To name but a few. It took us 1 year and we roughly launched into 20 markets, currently being the 2nd largest non-alcoholic spirit brand of the world.

  • STELLA GLOBAL WINE BROKERS

    In July 2020, post Covid Lockdown and during the South African prohibition of liquor sales, an unique collaboration formed between friends and past colleagues… a global team born out of a global pandemic. STELLA Global Wine Brokers is a network of wine professionals with over 135 years combined experience in the wine trade. From our 5 office locations, we work with clients from around the globe fulfilling their bulk wine, grape products and bottling requirements
    as well as creating and presenting opportunities in all wine related areas – a holistic approach covering your needs from beginning to end and everything in-between. Our deep knowledge of global wine markets, extensive commercial and technical capability and customer focused approach is at the core of our business. We develop trusted partnerships through integrity, reliability and resourcefulness.

    View the website for more information.

  • ORIGIIN OF KAMMA-KAN KAMMA

    Origiin is the 1st non-alcoholic GIN in the world, that uses 100% distilling methods of Juniper berries and key Cape botanicals, combined by the De Poort organic farm’s massive waterfall and earth filtered mountain river water. Owner & Distiller, Andrew Starke, joined with Emile Gentis, Master Blender & Product Developer, and formed Origiin of Kamma-Kan Kamma.

    View the website for more information.

  • GENTIS FAMILY WINES

    In 2021, Emile Gentis moved his winemaking operation to the quaint town of Riebeek Kasteel, where he started to focus on his Swartland terroir-driven blends and winemaking techniques.

  • SOUTHBOUND GIN

    In mid-2021, Emile Gentis added another collaboration to the Thor Vintners stable, with one of his friends, Riaan van Niekerk. They launched Southbound Craft Gin, which is currently being distilled at the Jorgenson Distillery in small-batch distillates.

MEET OUR

Wine Family

DIRECTOR OF WINEMAKING….
OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT

Emile Gentis “Dutchman”

The best things in life happens when you step outside your comfort zone.
Thor Vintners started out by dabbling under the Thor Age of the Rebel regional batch wines, but over time it transformed into becoming a leading brand for bespoke blends from the Swartland. I remembered the superhero cards I collected as a kid, and the Thor card always eluded me. But now, as an adult, I found my strength as a master blender that finally sealed the personal quest I was after.

Never inhibited by winemaking rules, my heritage will always take centre stage in all my wine endeavours. Quality will always remain my point of departure, and Thor’s nature to explore will forever be the canvas I draw my inspiration from. I am an artisan, and this is manifested in every detail.

All the wines in the Thor Vintners portfolio is sealed with a THOR cork, indicating our seal of approval. We might have numerous brands and wine styles, but we only have one mark authenticating the highest quality: Thor. Everything about the packaging, from some being hand-labelled, written, and signed, complete with a wax dip or entrusting our wines with our family coat of arms, should be a recognizable brand trait. Tasting it should only confirm what you already know.
We refer to it as the “Thor Craftsmanship” – those bespoke finishing touches that will ultimately differentiate the wine as a finely crafted elixir under the Thor Vintners brand.

“Keep Calm & Drink Wine”

BESIDE EVERY MAN 

My Wife

“She is my partner and my love, my confidant, wife, and best friend.”
Marlize is a superlative business woman, and as the commercial brain of the family, she has built up one of the most prestigious small businesses in the Western Cape, Utopia, over the last 20 years. At the end of 2019, she sold her business to pursue other brand development dreams, such as Wind song – The Botanik Alchemist – and spend more time with their beautiful girls!

“My wife is one of the greatest blessings from God. Her love is a gift that I am thankful for every day.”

WINEMAKERS TO BE…

Mis Niñas

I grew up in the vineyards beside my dad – tasting the grapes, learning about the vines, and occasionally, hunting rabbits. Today I get to do that with my own kids and playing hide and seek with them is even more fun than I can remember growing up. It is all about family time.

“For my girls… love the life you live… live the life you love… with a bit of Sass!”

(M&L x)

Jeanne 

Starting out as our Au pair many moons ago, the sun has now risen over us plenty of times as Jeanne is actively working with us as a part of the Thor Vintners team. We see Jeanne as a part of our family and the same business ethics and commitment runs in her blood. She is the one who makes sure the wine ticks all the boxes in the value chain and doing so with the utmost care and precision.

“If I am the body, my family the soul, then Jeanne is the blood of Thor Vintners”

FOR THOSE WHO NEVER FORGET THAT FRIENDSHIP IS A FACT OF LIFE.

My Friends

Emile was born and bred in Stellenbosch, renowned as both a student town and the heart of the South African wine culture. Spreading his wings after attending what he deems the “coolest school” Paul Roos Gimnasium, he joined the diehard Wine College of South Africa, Elsenburg, where the intensity of its practical curriculum will defy your desire and resilience to become a winemaker. In 2005, Emile married the love of his life, Marlize, and took on his post-graduate degree in Oenology in the same year. When the honeymooners returned from their love bubble in Kenya, what Emile calls “the real Indiana Jones Wine Adventure” started, speckled with a plethora of experiences. This included working experience at Villiera, Klein Constantia, Chateau du Franc Grand Cru, Jacob’s Creek, Brancott, Campo Viejo, Meerhof, Long Mountain, Athena, De Morgenzon, Chateau Angelus Premier Grand Cru Class A, Chateau La Rose Cote Rol, Pernod Ricard, Ciatti, Vinex, STELLA and more.

“Experiences is what makes the dream of winemaking real, EG.”

DIRECTOR OF WINEMAKING….
OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT

Emile Gentis “Dutchman”

The best things in life happens when you step outside your comfort zone.
Thor Vintners started out by dabbling under the Thor Age of the Rebel regional batch wines, but over time it transformed into becoming a leading brand for bespoke blends from the Swartland. I remembered the superhero cards I collected as a kid, and the Thor card always eluded me. But now, as an adult, I found my strength as a master blender that finally sealed the personal quest I was after.

Never inhibited by winemaking rules, my heritage will always take centre stage in all my wine endeavours. Quality will always remain my point of departure, and Thor’s nature to explore will forever be the canvas I draw my inspiration from. I am an artisan, and this is manifested in every detail.

All the wines in the Thor Vintners portfolio is sealed with a THOR cork, indicating our seal of approval. We might have numerous brands and wine styles, but we only have one mark authenticating the highest quality: Thor. Everything about the packaging, from some being hand-labelled, written, and signed, complete with a wax dip or entrusting our wines with our family coat of arms, should be a recognizable brand trait. Tasting it should only confirm what you already know.
We refer to it as the “Thor Craftsmanship” – those bespoke finishing touches that will ultimately differentiate the wine as a finely crafted elixir under the Thor Vintners brand.

“Keep Calm & Drink Wine”

BESIDE EVERY MAN 

My Wife

“She is my partner and my love, my confidant, wife, and best friend.”
Marlize is a superlative business woman, and as the commercial brain of the family, she has built up one of the most prestigious small businesses in the Western Cape, Utopia, over the last 20 years. At the end of 2019, she sold her business to pursue other brand development dreams, such as Wind song – The Botanik Alchemist – and spend more time with their beautiful girls!

“My wife is one of the greatest blessings from God. Her love is a gift that I am thankful for every day.”

WINEMAKERS TO BE…

Mis Niñas

I grew up in the vineyards beside my dad – tasting the grapes, learning about the vines, and occasionally, hunting rabbits. Today I get to do that with my own kids and playing hide and seek with them is even more fun than I can remember growing up. It is all about family time.

“For my girls… love the life you live… live the life you love… with a bit of Sass!”

(M&L x)

Jeanne 

Starting out as our Au pair many moons ago, the sun has now risen over us plenty of times as Jeanne is actively working with us as a part of the Thor Vintners team. We see Jeanne as a part of our family and the same business ethics and commitment runs in her blood. She is the one who makes sure the wine ticks all the boxes in the value chain and doing so with the utmost care and precision.

“If I am the body, my family the soul, then Jeanne is the blood of Thor Vintners”

FOR THOSE WHO NEVER FORGET THAT FRIENDSHIP IS A FACT OF LIFE.

My Friends

Emile was born and bred in Stellenbosch, renowned as both a student town and the heart of the South African wine culture. Spreading his wings after attending what he deems the “coolest school” Paul Roos Gimnasium, he joined the diehard Wine College of South Africa, Elsenburg, where the intensity of its practical curriculum will defy your desire and resilience to become a winemaker. In 2005, Emile married the love of his life, Marlize, and took on his post-graduate degree in Oenology in the same year. When the honeymooners returned from their love bubble in Kenya, what Emile calls “the real Indiana Jones Wine Adventure” started, speckled with a plethora of experiences. This included working experience at Villiera, Klein Constantia, Chateau du Franc Grand Cru, Jacob’s Creek, Brancott, Campo Viejo, Meerhof, Long Mountain, Athena, De Morgenzon, Chateau Angelus Premier Grand Cru Class A, Chateau La Rose Cote Rol, Pernod Ricard, Ciatti, Vinex, STELLA and more.

“Experiences is what makes the dream of winemaking real, EG.”