Teddy Hall, who helped develop Kanu into one of South Africa's best new wineries, has resigned his position there in order to focus on his own project. Hall, 39, will now work full-time at Rudera, the winery that he founded in 1999 and owns with his wife.
"I feel it's like having a grown-up child leaving home," Hall said. "I'm nervous but very excited as well."
Hall, a South African native, sold his own brokerage firm in 1993 to embark on a career in wine with no formal background in the industry. After stints at Boschendal winery in South Africa and at Château Gombaude-Guillot in Bordeaux, Hall returned to South Africa.
Hall joined Kanu at its inception in 1998 as head winemaker and quickly turned the 50,000-case operation into a prime source for quality and value. At Kanu, Hall made Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. At Rudera, he will focus primarily on Cabernet and Chenin, along with a small amount of Syrah. Rudera currently produces just 2,000 cases a year, though Hall plans to expand that to 3,000.
"I can put all my focus on just 70 tons [of fruit] now, and not one thousand," Hall said.
Rudera produces all of its wines from purchased grapes, sourced from vineyards in Stellenbosch, South Africa's top wine-producing region. Rudera's wines had been produced at Kanu's facility, but beginning with the 2004 vintage, production will move to a custom-crush facility in Stellenbosch.
Despite the change, Kanu will remain in good hands. Owned by Hydro Holdings, which also owns Mulderbosch winery, Kanu will now have Mulderbosch head winemaker Mike Dobrovic overseeing the day-to-day operations. Dobrovic, one of South Africa's top winemakers, has been a consultant to Kanu since its inception, and will work with Kanu's assistant winemaker, Johan Grimbeek.
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