Klein Zalze adds award-winner to team

2013-01-22 09:05
Stellenbosch - Kleine Zalze, is delighted to announce a new member of the winemaking team with the arrival of RJ Botha from Nitida Wines. Kleine Zalze’s Cellarmaster, Johan Joubert, says “We are very pleased with RJ’s appointment as his passion and belief in getting quality wines in the bottle matches ours and I think he will go the extra mile for Kleine Zalze – which are all the qualities we wanted in a winemaker.”

RJ brings with him a wealth of experience. Following his graduation from Stellenbosch University, he worked internships at Château Angelus in Bordeaux before returning to South Africa and eventually taking up the post of winemaker at Nitida in 2007. During his time there, he won countless medals for his wines at a host of local and international shows and events. His crowning moment came in 2010 when he was named Diners Club Young Winemaker of the Year for the Nitida Calligraphy – no mean feat considering the popularity of the chosen style for that year.

For RJ, moving to Kleine Zalze was a tough decision, but he is confident it is the right one. “Kleine Zalze consistently produces great wines and to be involved in such a dynamic and forward thinking winery is a fantastic opportunity for me!”

His experience to date has been with a smaller, boutique operation compared to Kleine Zalze and he admits he has much to learn from working in a bigger winery and, in particular, with a winemaker like Johan Joubert “Johan has set an incredibly high standard for Kleine Zalze and the performance of the wines bare testament to this.”

RJ’s intricate attention to detail style of winemaking experience was one of the factors which led Johan to choose him out of the 102 candidates who applied for the position. “We have been lucky enough to enjoy a considerable amount of success across all levels, but we feel we can do even better” he says. Johan’s aim is for him and

RJ to have more time to focus on the premium brands, and the team they have put in place will allow them to develop their ideas for new wines and give them plenty of love and attention in order for them to come to fruition.

New wines are being planned, such as a premium white and red blend and Johan fully believes that they can ratchet the standards up even higher now that RJ has come on board. “What I like about RJ is that he is very much a perfectionist and highly driven to succeed.”

RJ has already taken part in blending some of the new releases and is looking forward to his first full harvest in 2013. In the meantime, he’s getting to know the wines more intimately and is already enjoying the Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (“I’m a Sauvignon man!”) and the Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc – “that’s flippen’ amazing wine!” With RJ’s passion and enthusiasm and Johan’s expertise, ideas and imagination, it seems that 2013 could be the greatest year yet at Kleine Zalze.

Please contact the farm on 021 880 0717 for more details or visit www.kleinezalze.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.


24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.