Son of a wheatfarming family from the west coast of South Africa, Nico gravitated to winemaking during his years at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch. After completion he decided to pack his belongings and headed for Germany's oldest wine school, LVWO Weinsberg in Heilbronn. During his time in Germany he would meet his wife, Petra, who was practising as a medical doctor in a nearby town at the time.
After returning to South Africa, he became the country's first "flying winemaker", spending half of every year running a cellar in Stellenbosch and the other half operating a chateau in the Languedoc region of southern France.
During the family's time in France they not only discovered a new culture and way of living, but Nico's dream of creating his own wines started to take shape. This dream turned into reality with the maiden vintage of the Mas Nicolas in 1999.