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South Africa's Kleine Zalze takes on new cellarmaster

Published:  18 August, 2014

South Africa's Kleine Zalze has appointed Alastair Rimmer as its new cellarmaster, as the previous incumbent Johan Joubert steps down after 12 years in the job.

RimmerAlastair Rimmer becomes cellarmaster at Kleine ZalzeThe Stellenbosch estate welcomes Rimmer, who has had extensive experience both in South Africa and internationally, following the departure of its previous cellarmaster Johan Joubert after 12 years.

Rimmer studied viticulture at Stellenbosch University, graduated in 2000 and initially worked at South African estates Overgaauw Wine Estate, Agusta Wines and Vergelegen Wines. He then took a more global perspective, holding roles at Spy Valley in Marlborough, New Zealand, Bodega Juan Gil in Jumilla, Spain, and Diablo Grande Winery in the San Joaquin Valley, California. From 2008 to 2011, Rimmer worked for Chris Ringland at Belvidere Estate in South Australia, and returned to South Africa in 2012 to take up the position of head winemaker at Darling Cellars.

Rimmer takes up his post at the Stellenbosch estate on September 1.

Owner and managing director Kobus Basson said: "We are very grateful for Johan's hard work and dedication to Kleine Zalze. He has done a wonderful job for us and he remains a welcome friend and will always be an integral part of the history of Kleine Zalze. We wish him all the success in the world with his future ventures."

"We are excited about the next chapter in Kleine Zalze's history and are pleased to announce the addition of Alastair to our established team, including winemaker RJ Botha. Alastair has worked extensively in South Africa and internationally, bringing with him a wealth of experience, both of big commercial wineries and super premium boutique producers."

Rimmer said: "Moving to Kleine Zalze is very exciting for me as my career has now come full circle back to Stellenbosch, where my love for winemaking first began. Kleine Zalze has come a long way in a very short space of time and I intend to build on that and contribute to Kleine Zalze's success and strong identity both locally and internationally."

For the latest information on the South African wine industry, see report on the industry, from our August issue