Distell has appointed an Australian as its chief winemaker as it prepares its assault on world markets.

Linley Schultz, 38, who is presently with Banrock Station wines, joins the Stellenbosch-based beverage company at the end of September. The company has been on the lookout for a person to fill this position since merging earlier this year.

Schultz began his career at Wein Valley Estate, South Australia, in 1988, followed by a seven-year stint with Southcorp wines. He has worked as an independent winemaking consultant in about nine different countries. These include, Germany, Italy, Macedonia, Argentina, Hungary and England

It was this diverse range of experience that Distell was looking for, according to corporate affairs director, Andre Steyn.

"Nationality was not a priority, it was international experience and I think we have the man who fits the bill perfectly."