Ex-KWV winemaker Kosie Moller has announced he has become a partner in the Paarl-based negociant West Coast Vineyards. He has also won the management contract for the Devon Hill Wine Estate outside Stellenbosch.

Moller said: "Deciding to join West Coast Vineyards was not difficult. They contacted me a while ago, so I knew all about their set-up and the way they operated. I liked their dynamic approach and knew that I could fit into the operation quite easily."

He continued: "I will basically be the operations director, sourcing, doing quality control and ensuring the product reaches its destination on time."

Elaborating on his reasons for leaving KWV a little he said: "There has been a great deal of speculation as to why I left KWV, particularly at the start of the harvest. To outsiders it may seem rather sudden, but for me it was something that was going to happen because I had a need to fulfil my personal aspirations. I realised with time these could not be met in a large company like KWV.

"It must also be expected that in a company of that size, there will from time to time be friction and differences of opinion about a variety of aspects, ranging from wine styles, strategies and procedures.

"As an individual you accept it up to a point then decide those differences are too wide to bridge and you need to explore other avenues. This is what I'm doing."

West Coast Vineyards was formed in 1997, marketing Simonsvlei International's wines together with those of other wineries around the cape Winelands. WCV is now moving to develop its own interests, particularly in its core markets in the UK and northern Europe.

Devon Hill Winery is situated in Devon Valley and will produce Devon Hill Estate, Devon View and Bushman's Creek wines for the WCV portfolio.