Our Winemaker Profile – Ben Snyman

David Benjamin Snyman, Head winemaker at Overhex Winery takes our wine forward with passion and a constant focus on excellence.

Young, dynamic and in love with SA wine: Meet Ben Snyman, the man behind the popular Survivor wine and other wine brands, a 36 year old winemaker, husband, trail runner and dog lover.

As the winemaker behind Overhex Wines International’s expansive portfolio, Ben Snyman is a very busy man. Overhex are one of the top 10 exporters in South Africa. As a chief winemaker, he’s in charge of the lion’s share. After completing school in Cape Town, Ben graduated from Stellenbosch University with a BSc Agriculture degree (Oenology and Viticulture) in 2009. Then he travelled to California for an internship at Chalk Hill Estate.

“During my studies at the University of Stellenbosch I stayed in a small apartment on campus. I loved cooking and enjoyed a glass of wine with it. One day, I decided to mix different varieties together in my glass (being on a student budget). I was quite intrigued at what I’d created and how one can manipulate flavours and harmony with wine – just like you do in cooking. I decided that day I wanted to become a winemaker”.

He started working at Overhex Wines International in 2010 and is currently the Head Winemaker. During his years at Overhex his passion for knowledge has grown and he has completed the following courses below:

  1. University of Stellenbosch executive development LTD certified in Management Development programme (NQF level 6) in 2013,
  2. Cape Wine Academy – completed certificate wine Course in 2015,
  3. Wine Judging Academy – Certificate of competence with distinction (course convenor Michael Fridjhon) in 2007,
  4. Faulty wine course completed 2017,
  5. Harvard Business School leadership principals in 2019, and
  6. Currently busy with the Cape Wine Academy diploma.

Ben’s passion for wine has directed him to be more involved in wine judging and in 2019 he was invited as an apprentice Judge for the FNB top 10 Sauvignon Blanc 2019.

Ben is also responsible for the wine brand Mensa wines; an innovative, inspiring and intriguing wine which launched the first Augmented Reality (AR) app in South Africa. Ben recently won a Tender for Mensa wines in Canada.

“Ben is a dedicated winemaker, using all the latest tools, innovation and knowledge available to him to make wines of superior quality, whilst still putting his personal stamp on the wine!” – Dr. Winifred Bowman

“In the space of a few years Overhex’s Ben Snyman has assumed control over the direction and focus of the winery. He directs the cellar’s massive export business at the same time as he crafts wines for the ultra-premium Survivor range. Several of these finely composed bottlings have appeared in the top ten rankings of their respective classes in blind tasting competitions.” – Michael Fridjhon

Terroir driven and serious about quality wine, Survivor wines has won numerous of awards:

MUNDUS VINI

Survivor Chardonnay 2020 GOLD

Survivor Pinotage 2018 GOLD

Survivor Pinotage Reserve 2017 GOLD

Survivor Pinotage 2017 GOLD

Survivor Wild Yeast Syrah 2017 GOLD

Survivor Pinotage 2015 GOLD

SOUTH AFRICAN WINE INDEX AWARDS

Survivor Pinotage Reserve 99,4 PLATINUM

Survivor Sauvignon Blanc 96,2 PLATINUM

Survivor Chenin Blanc 93,4 GRAND GOLD

CWSA BEST VALUE 2018

Survivor Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 DOUBLE GOLD

Survivor Chenin Blanc 2017 GOLD

Survivor Pinotage 2016 GOLD

Survivor Sauvignon Blanc 2017 GOLD

PLATTER SOUTH AFRICAN WINE GUIDE 2018

Survivor Chenin Blanc 2017 4½ STAR RATING

Survivor Sauvignon Blanc 2017 4 STAR RATING

Survivor Wild Yeast Chardonnay 2016 4 STAR RATING

Survivor Pinotage 2016 4 STAR RATING

Survivor Chenin Blanc 2016 4½ STAR RATING

MICHELANGELO INTERNATIONAL AWARDS

Survivor Sauvignon Blanc 2019 GOLD

Survivor Pinotage 2018 DOUBLE GOLD

Survivor Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 GOLD

Survivor Sauvignon Blanc 2017 GOLD

Survivor Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 GOLD

Survivor Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 GOLD

ABSA TOP TEN PINOTAGE 2019

Survivor Pinotage 2017 TOP 10

Survivor Pinotage 2014 TOP 10AWARDS

Survivor Pinotage 2015 4 STAR RATING

Survivor Sauvignon Blanc 2016 4 STAR RATING

Survivor Méthode Cap Classique Brut 2011 4 STAR RATING

SOMMELIERS SELECTION WINE LIST 2017

Offspring Syrah Pinotage Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 SOMMELIERS SELECTION

SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS WINE LIST AWARDS 2017

Survivor Offspring Fairtrade Cape Red Blend 2015 RED WINE TROPHY

Most Listings for the Year (9) CEO’S AWARD

OLD MUTUAL TROPHY WINE SHOW 2019

Survivor Pinotage Reserve 2017 TROPHY FOR BEST PINOTAGE GOLD

Survivor Sauvignon Blanc 2017 GOLD

SIX NATIONS WINE CHALLENGE 2018

Survivor Sauvignon Blanc 2017 DOUBLE GOLD

HARPERS WINE STARS SOUTH AFRICA 2018

Survivor Chenin Blanc 2017 STAR OF SWARTLAND 5 STAR RATING

Survivor Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 STAR OF DESIGN 4 STAR RATING

Most Wine in Litres (105 344) CHAIRMAN’S AWARDAWARDS

CHARDONNAY DU MONDE 2017

Survivor Wild Yeast Chardonnay 2016 GOLD

VERITAS AWARDS 2016

Survivor Pinotage 2015 GOLD

GOLD WINE AWARDS 2016

Offspring Chenin Blanc Sauvignon Blanc Viognier 2016 GOLD

Offspring Syrah Pinotage Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 GOLD

SAKURA JAPAN WOMEN’S WINE AWARDS 2015

Survivor Chenin Blanc 2015 GOLD

FNB TOP TEN SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015

Survivor Sauvignon Blanc 2015 TOP 10