Kleine Zalze cellarmaster, Johan Joubert, said: “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.”
Both graduated from Stellenbosch University and worked internships at Château Angelus in Bordeaux before returning to South Africa.
He has won medals for his wines at both 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.
Botha’s 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 Joubert. “Johan has set an incredibly high standard for Kleine Zalze and the performance of the wines bare testament to this,” said Botha.
New wines are being planned, such as a premium white and red blend and Joubert believes that they can ratchet the standards up even higher now that Botha has joined.