Kobus Basson - MD and Owner
A much loved figure in the South African wine industry, Kobus is a qualified solicitor and was in legal practice for 15 years before he purchased Kleine Zalze with his brother-in-law. He has spent time visiting many wine regions and wine markets of the world and this continues to help him remain constantly in tune with consumer demands on both an international and local level. He lives on the estate with his wife Mariette and their children.
Alastair Rimmer- Cellarmaster
Newly appointed in August 2014, Alastair heads up the dynamic winemaking team together with Winemaker RJ Botha and Assistant Winemakers Elizca de Lange and Dirk van Zyl.
Highly experienced, Alastair began his career studying viticulture at Stellenbosch University, graduating in 2000 and initially worked at Overgaauw Wine Estate, Agusta Wines and Vergelegen Wines in South Africa. Following this he broadened his international winemaking knowledge with 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, Alastair 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.
Working in such varied wine regions has allowed him to focus on the fundamental elements of the wines he makes, irrespective of the area or style. For Alastair, achieving balance is the single most important factor in winemaking. He is also a big fan of diversity of ‘terroir’ and believes that it is crucial that winemakers allow site characteristics to be expressed in the wine. His wide commercial experience means he tempers this respect for regionality with a clear-sighted view of the varying needs of different markets.
RJ has been with Kleine Zalze since 2012 where he continues to impress with his meticulous attention to detail. RJ was always intrigued by the science of winemaking and thus studied for a BSc. in Viticulture and Oenology at the University of Stellenbosch. He started his winemaking career at Nitida Cellars in Durbanville where he won the much coveted Diner's Club Young Winemaker of the Year in 2010
Michael Broughton - Terroir Restaurant's multi award-winning chef
Kleine Zalze opened the Terroir restaurant on its estate in 2004 and since opening, under the careful supervision of head chef Michael Broughton, it has become one of the most sought-after gourmet destinations in the Cape Winelands, placing Stellenbosch prominently on the culinary map. Kleine Zalze understands the relationship between wine and food and is tremendously proud of Terroir's being consistently nominated as one of South Africa's top 10 restaurants.