10 Questions For: Ntsiki Biyela

For Moments of Joy. Follow our social channels
for useful news, daily local champions
072 350 2062
Ideas Cartel, The Old Foundry, 1 Sand Hill Road, Green Point

10 Questions For: Ntsiki Biyela

Get to know the first black female winemaker in South Africa

Last updated: Tuesdsay, 12 March 2024

You might know her as the first black female winemaker in South Africa. But did you know that she loves fantasy novels, or once mistook wasabi for avocado?

We sat down with the owner and founder of Aslina Wines, Nstiki Biyela. She unpacks mental health hacks, how to get red wine stains out of clothes and her favourite Stellenbosch restaurant. Plus, find out about Aslina Wines’ new tasting room. 

Ntsiki Biyela and bottles of Aslina Wines. Image: Aslina Wines

1. If you were a bottle of wine, what would you be?

An MCC. I’d look serious on the outside, but have a lot of bubbly child-like energy inside.

2. Tell us about a funny anecdote that you remember vividly.

This isn’t really funny, it was more painful. When I was working at Stellekaya I walked down the stairs and was greeted by a floor full of red wine. A small tank of pinot Noir had fallen. I was on the verge of crying.

3. What’s one thing no one knows about you?

I love to sleep – especially in nature. Just a 10 minute power nap, it makes a huge difference. So when I go for my walks on the weekend at Helderberg Nature Reserve I’ll sleep on one of the benches. It just feels good.

4. Asking for a friend ;-) What is your hack to get wine stains out of clothes?

Pour white wine on it immediately (while it is still wet). Then rub it.

5. What piece of advice would you give your 18 year old self?

What’s supposed to be yours will always come to you.

6. Top South African track that you will always have in your playlist is…

Ithuba by Lwah Ndlunkulu. It speaks about the current situation for us in South Africa. It’s a gratitude song.

7. The most embarrassing moment of your life, or one of them, is when…

I ate wasabi thinking it’s avocado. It happened in my twenties when I came to Stellenbosch to study. I was being exposed to different things that I didn’t know. It definitely looked like avocado, it didn’t make sense that it could be something terrible. They should put a warning up.

8. What is one wine, besides your own, that you have to have in your kitchen?

Delheim Rosé, especially during summer when it’s hot.

9. One hack, exercise, tool or saying that I use to stay sane that perhaps can help someone is…

Reading fiction books to stay calm. Right now I’m reading Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I saw someone reading it on a train while I was in London, and them my mentor Jilly Best bought it for me. Previously I was reading a lot of werewolf books. With fantasy you get lost in it, and forget everything and anything that’s around you. You leave the world for the time being.

10. A restaurant that you think our readers should visit is…

Post and Pepper in Stellenbosch. The small plates are so decorative and it has a very innovative menu. They’ve got pork lollipops (that for me is such a funny name) which is basically pork on a stick. It’s really delicious. Susa in Bree Street is very exciting too. 


Ntsiki grew up in Mahlabathini, a rural village in KwaZulu-Natal. After being employed as a domestic worker for a year, she was awarded a scholarship to study winemaking at Stellenbosch University in 1999 – not knowing a word of Afrikaans. 

Today she has forged a path to become a widely-admired name in the world of wine. In 2016 established Aslina Wines, inspired and named after the biggest influence in her life, her grandmother. 

Its newly opened tasting in Stellenbosch has special wines to taste like Umsasane, in Zulu means the "umbrella tree", which is Ntsiki’s grandmother’s nickname. There’s also the mild buttery Chardonnay with undertones of honeybush tea; and Cabernet Sauvignon with hints of mint, cigar box and loads of dark fruits. 

There’s two wine tasting packages, Ibhinca (three wines) and Kokwana (five wines).  Image: Aslina Wines


Aslina Wines is open: Tuesday – Friday; 10am – 4pm
Find it: Unit 1, Ground Floor, Building 4, Alberto Drive, Devonbosch, Stellenbosch
Book: Tastings are strictly by appointment. Email or call 021 300 3486
Cost: From R85 for tastings
Contact on:, @aslina_wines

By Lara van Zyl



Your guide to top wine tastings according to locals.

Find 15+ things to do this weekend in Cape Town.

Here are the hottest new places around the corner.


Loved discovering this? Make sure you get our popular weekly newsletter. Follow and like us on Twitter ❤ Facebook ❤ LinkedIn ❤ Instagram ❤ Pinterest for updates.  

Cape Town Events Calendar
July 2024
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31

Neighbourfood 2024 V&A Waterfront V&A Waterfront’s fantastic restaurant ...

Specials at Sevruga, Karibu, Gibson’s, Beluga, KFC & more

mischu 2024Weekends are for mischu

You can get breakfast and coffee with the R99 brunch special

Spier winter picnics 2024Spier’s winter specials

Soup and wine pairing, or a kitted-out winter picnic?

Esther Mahlangu, A Retrospective at Iziko MuseumOnce-in-a-lifetime exhibition of Esther ...

On from February to August 2024; 100+ artworks

Cannibisters 2024Cape Town’s very own cannabis club, ...

Now with over 90 strains of weed and The Serenity Room

Off-road adventure at Scootours BanhoekBest day ever? Monster Mountain ...

Scootours Banhoek has scooters, vine bikes and archery

Escape rooms Cape TownPossibly the best escape room in the ...

HintHunt’s Marble is being called “the king of escape rooms”

Bamboo Plant Power plant based healthy takeaways Netflix and chill & office lunch are ...

From mushroom burgers and loaded fries to “sticky wings”

Woodstock Brewery burgersA brewery with food specials for every ...

Burgers, schnitzels + curry specials at Woodstock Brewery

Char'd Grill & Wine BarSpirit tastings and unique cuts at ...

Gin atomiser, brandy tastings and chef recommendations

Milk on the Beach 2024Reasons to visit this beach-side family ...

Ramen by the sea, a build-your-own waffle bar & 5 more

Palm House spa This grand 5-star hotel has luxury spa ...

Half day package includes 2 hour treatment & 3 course lunch

GiveawaysTravel Tips