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Nederburg appoints new cellar master

Published:  04 May, 2021

Nederburg has appointed Samuel Viljoen as its new cellar master. 

Viljoen, who succeeds Lizelle Gerber, has been part of the winery team since 2007, first as an assistant, and from 2014 as its fully-fledged winemaker of Nederburg’s reds.

Gerber, who joined Nederburg as its cellar master in August 2019, had left to “pursue other interests”, said Nederburg.

In his new role, Viljoen oversees the production of the Paarl cellar’s multi-tiered range, distributed across more than 80 countries worldwide.

Before joining Nederburg 14 years ago, the Stellenbosch University viticulture and oenology graduate worked in both boutique and larger-scale wineries, including the American cellar Domaine Serene in Willamette Valley and the large-volume Goudini Winery in Rawsonville.

In the US in 2003, Viljoen was one of just a handful of South African winemakers at the time to be given the opportunity to work in Oregon.  

“My obsession with detail probably springs from those days in Oregon, where every tiny barrel of wine was treated as something truly precious, but then so was every larger tank,” said Viljoen.

“Big or small, everything was regarded as important and that emphasis has never left me.” 

Nederburg’s MD, Niël Groenewald, added: “Samuel’s talents are integral to the winery’s success. His winemaking prowess is well recognised, enhanced by an extraordinary discipline, strong analytical and intuitive skills, and matched by his ability to focus both on detail and the bigger picture. That is why he is equally at home making exclusive, specialist micro-edition wines and those for more popular enjoyment. A leader and a team player, he is a great asset to our recently upgraded and expanded cellar.”

Viljoen’s previous South African experience also included stints with Klein Constantia, Fairview and Longridge.