Razvan Macici, cellarmaster at Nederburg Wines – Platter’s Winery of the Year for 2011 – has been appointed head winemaker of parent company Distell, a newly created role overseeing style and quality across the group's entire wine portfolio.
Macici, with 15 vintages at Nederburg, will also be driving innovation within Distell while providing a conduit for the exchange of specialist wine knowledge. Additionally, he will serve as a roving wine ambassador for the company, liaising with critics, influencers and the trade in major markets.
Distell's primary production director, Johan Venter, said the appointment was a key step in advancing the company's wine business and standing.
“Fine wine in particular is assuming a growing significance in our portfolio as we develop and expand markets globally. The new position will provide an additional impetus to stimulate and steer winemaking excellence, enhancing our competitive advantage. "
While Macici will continue to influence Nederburg's winemaking, he will now also help shape the company's other wine ranges, including Durbanville Hills, Plaisir de Merle, Le Bonheur, Uitkyk, Stellenzicht and Neethlingshof. He will be working very closely with all the viticulturists involved.
Macici’s move, effective from July 1, will result in other changes within the company.
Andrea Freeborough will succeed Macici, returning to Nederburg after a decade as head of Die Bergkelder, where she has earned considerable international kudos for many Fleur du Cap wines and has also overseen top-performing brands in Die Bergkelder stable such as Lomond. Previously she made Nederburg's white wines under Macici’s aegis for more than four years.
Venter said she was the obvious choice for the Nederburg job, having proven her ability at Die Bergkelder to lead a big team and to simultaneously create both specialty and more popular wines.
Commenting on his successor, Macici said: "Andrea is an outstanding winemaker and colleague. We have always worked extremely well together and after my decade-and-a-half at Nederburg, I can think of no better person to continue the journey."
Her position will be filled by Wim Truter, currently Die Bergkelder's red-wine maker and formerly white-wine maker at Nederburg. He brings extensive international exposure to his new position. With a prestigious Erasmus Mundus international masters degree in vintage, vine, wine and terroir management, he has also worked in the US and Australia.
Venter confirmed that at the end of October, when Distell's group general manager: winemaking, Callie van Niekerk retires, he will be succeeded by Deon Boshoff, currently cellarmaster of Adam Tas. With his promotion, Elize Coetzee will become cellarmaster. Curently she makes the white wines at Adam Tas and is responsible for brands such as Zonnebloem and Place in the Sun.