Rushton to the Rescue


Distell has a new MD designate and SA a new wine CIP – Richard Rushton (below) who ran Central America for SABMiller and before that, India, for the brewery. Which raises all kinds of intriguing possibilities for export destinations for the largest liquor corporate in SA. Dick is fluent in Spanish and his appointment obviously signals a raising of the export game for the company.

Richard Rushton 470x313 300x217 Rushton to the Rescue

SABMiller owns 30% of Distell and it’s inconceivable that Dick would jump ship without approval from the brew-masters. Dick follows in the footsteps of brewer Johann Graue who owned a leading German brewery. After emigrating to SA, Johann revolutionised winemaking with clonal experiments to isolate top-performing vines for reproduction and introduced cold fermentation techniques.

Johann bought Nederburg in 1937 and today the brand is the most awarded wine in SA in blind tastings. It’s only the Platter sighted guide that fails to get the message. But then commercial success is a serious negative to nerds who need to see a label before they know if they like a wine or not.

Canny Nederburg cellarmaster Razvan Macici (Raz Van Macici in Afrikaans) is ahead of the game in calling his 2010 Heritage Hero Bordeaux blend, “brew master” as over at Aan-de-Wagenweg (funny address for a drinks company “on the wagon”) they’re all brewers now.