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  • Writer's pictureErica Taylor

Rest in Peace Gentle Giant

One of the kindest, generous, most joyful people I have ever met, Rob Armstrong. Anyone lucky enough to meet the Gentle Giant himself knows the love and charisma he possessed. A wave of sadness washed over the wine industry as we became aware of his untimely passing on Friday, August 20th, 2021.

I first met Rob in 2018 when I emailed to come out to the farm for a visit. We couldn't find a date that would work, so he offered to open for me on a Sunday—not surprising now knowing him; his passion was inspiring. The pride he took in Haut Espoir and his family was evident in every aspect of what Haut Espoir is all about.

Such a connector and always wanting to help people. I had just moved here, and he was all ready to make intros for me to top people in the industry. I was so grateful but felt out of my league. But Rob believed in people.

In 2018 I would frequently head out to the Haut Espoir Full Moon walks... up to the top of the ridge, blankets, and wine in hand. Rob always wanted to share his beautiful corner of the world with people.

Whenever people would ask me where to go in Franschhoek, Haut Espoir was a top pick, and every person I sent had the same magical experience. So humble and genuine. We miss him already.

I can't imagine what his wife and children are going through after everything in the last two years, and now this. Rob Armstrong is a true legend and knowing his big smile is no longer in this world brings tears to my eyes.

None of us know when it will be our time. Tell people you love them. Open that bottle of wine. Life is too short.

Lots of love, Rob.

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