Nederburg's new red-wine maker is Samuel Viljoen (34), who replaces Wilhelm Pienaar. He has been the winery's assistant red-wine maker since 2007, working closely under cellarmaster Razvan Macici. He takes up his new position in November and his responsibilities will include all the brand's Fairtrade-accredited wines.
Before joining Nederburg seven years ago, the Stellenbosch University viticulture and oenology graduate gained experience working at a range of small and large wineries, from the highly acclaimed American boutique cellar Domaine Serene in Willamette Valley which has been called the Chateau Lafite of Oregon, to the large-volume Goudini Winery in Rawsonville.
In the US in 2003, he was one of just a handful of South African winemakers at the time to be given the opportunity to work in Oregon, now regarded as a source of some of the top US wines. Domaine Serene has been ranked amongst the world's best wines by Wine Spectator and its wines are regularly scored in the high nineties by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.
His previous South African experience also included stints at Klein Constantia, Fairview and Longridge.
Macici said Viljoen's talents were integral to Nederburg's success. "He is a gifted and experienced winemaker whose well-honed and finely balanced blend of analytical and intuitive skills has always been an asset to our team. Amongst his many strengths are a great versatility and a capacity to make micro-edition collectibles at the same time as mainstream, popular wines".