Our PEople

Derek Harvey: General Manager

'Applying my inherent love of farming with a team as motivated as ours, in this beautiful region of Plettenberg Bay, has been the true reward.'

Derek Harvey is a 5th generation farmer previously from Zululand,  KZN. In the early 2000’s, he arrived in Plett with his young family to become the  general manager of Bitou House Polo. He and his team were responsible for the upkeep of the fields,  the selection and training of young polo horses, , and the overall care and management of the horses at this world-renowned polo facility. Horses were traded and purchased locally and across international borders to bolster the power of the Bitou House polo strings.

Ron Leacy and Derek Harvey met in 2014 and a friendship was formed. Since their first introduction Derek has been employed as the general manager. The value that Derek places on the Bitou Vineyards team and each person’s role, is evident within this happy work environment.

Anton Smal: Winemaker / Cellar Master

‘I like the challenge of each vintage, to produce the best possible wine as they are never the same..’

Anton Smal is a well-known and highly experienced winemaker. After working at Villeria – a recognised wine farm in Stellenbosch, Cape Town from 1991 to 2010 – he gained vast experience in a wide range of cultivars, especially with Cap Classiques. From Villeria, Anton moved to Bramom wines, where he was the lead winemaker until he joined the Bitou Vineyards team in 2019, where he enjoys working in nature.

When he’s not making wine, you can find Anton surfing in the abundance of waves in Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape.

Tanya Pretorius: General Assistant

‘The Bitou farm has gone through many changes and I have been blessed to be a part of it..’

 My love for horses  led me to Plettenberg Bay where I got my 1st job at Bitou House Polo in 2006. I was lucky enough to stay on with the transition from polo to vineyards, where my passion grew for the wine industry. Now, many years later, I have the privilege to evolve with Bitou Vineyards and  gain more experience. I get to work with a wonderful team from the vines to the cellar and I look forward to the future.

Ron Leacy: Owner

[QUOTE FROM RON]

Mr Ron Leacy has created a home in Plett for over 10 years. Originally, an Irish boy, Mr Leacys family values are rooted in honesty, hardwork and kindness.

He originally acquired Bitou Polo fields as he foresaw a beautiful destination for weddings, amidst the backdrop of a phenomenal vineyard setting. The creation of fantastic wines is just the beginning.

Mr Leacy’s commitment to honest hard work, mutually beneficial team work, and an unwavering belief in all his projects means we can expect some exciting developments at Bitou over the next few years. Mr Leacy himself is very excited for the harvesting of the Malbec grapes next year, as this red wine has been a long standing favourite of his. The unveiling of this particular wine at Bitou will be quite an event to look forward to.

An experienced traveller and adventurer , Mr Leacy believes Plett to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. He also believes that Bitou Vineyards holds the potential for great ideas to become a reality at the heart of  Plettenberg Bay.

Whilst Mr Leacy’s vision for Bitou unfolds, we can surely anticipate the creation of something magical at the heart of the Eden Wine Route. Great wines await and welcome us to explore all the elements that Bitou Vineyards plans to offer. Watch this Space!