The timeless quality of Zonnebloem Wines | Zonnebloem

The timeless quality of Zonnebloem Wines

Posted on: 21 May 2020

2020 harvest feedback from our Cellarmaster

Harvest time in Stellenbosch is always an exciting experience with crisp early mornings, walking through the vineyards, tasting the juicy grapes to determine when they are ripe for harvest, and the rush of receiving the grapes at the cellar.

This year, harvest kicked off particularly early in mid-January, and from there it was all systems go for Zonnebloem. Led by Cellarmaster Elize Coetzee, our team had their hands full, starting with the first pickings of Sauvignon Blanc on the 23rd January.

Elize knew it was time to announce the start of harvest after having completed several walkabouts through the vineyards. “At Zonnebloem, we are all about tasting the grapes until we feel the concentration is correct to pick. Luckily, we have worked with these blocks for many years and know exactly what to look for,” explains Elize.

The harvest also posed a whirlwind of challenges and what marked to be the most tons the Zonnebloem team have taken in at Adam Tas in recent years. “It was a season of learning and hard work. We had to navigate ourselves, as well as our teams to the best of our abilities, in order to make wines that we can be proud of,” says Elize.

Thankfully, the picking period was completed prior to the looming threat of national lockdown. In preparation, Elize explained that the Zonnebloem team had to ensure the tanks would be safe and healthy throughout the lockdown period.

“We [had] a team that [came] in during the first week of lockdown to ensure that tanks could be racked, and that already racked tanks were full and healthy. On the red side, we were still busy pressing during this stage, we actually received our last grapes the day before lockdown started. We had a skeleton crew come into press tanks and top all other tanks to ensure our wines would be protected during the lockdown stage.”

Despite the challenges, there are still plenty of highlights to reflect back on. For Elize, it was working in a brand-new cellar, equipped and set up for the team to make even greater wines. In particular, Elize can’t wait to use the first Galileo spherical tank available in South Africa this year to develop some elegant and exciting red wines.

When it comes to Zonnebloem, it should come as no surprise that year on year, the focus remains on drinkability and quality.

As she reflects on another vintage wrapped up, she adds that the Zonnebloem team made beautiful wines that both she and the team are proud of. “Teamwork does pay off!” she ends.