from Zinaschke Steyn, assistant red-wine maker
Following the start of harvest on the 9 January at Nederburg, it has been an intense and busy time for the entire team.
According to Zinaschke Steyn, assistant red-wine maker, the white varieties such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc are coming in first and fast, so she is still patiently waiting for the majority of red grapes to start arriving for her to jump fully on board.
So far, Nederburg has only received about 300 tons (about 3% of the total red grapes to be harvested!) of Pinotage. In-between the harvest, the red wine team has also successfully blended the 2019 vintage of Baronne in a matter of four days! This is a record time for the red-wine team and the analysis came out “perfect”, according to Zinaschke.
As this is only Zinaschke’s second harvest at Nederburg, she is particularly excited for the Cabernet grapes to start coming in: “We have a few special blocks and parcels that give me goosebumps when tasting and blending throughout the winemaking process. I also enjoy working with the not-so-familiar cultivars such as Nebbiolo and Tempranillo,” she explains.
5 March 2020
Nederburg Red Winemaker Zinaschke is all hands on deck at the moment. “I laughed yesterday at something my fellow Red Winemaker, Samuel Viljoen, said: ‘We are doing backstroke in red grapes’. It’s funny because the grapes are coming in really fast right now so it is important to keep your focus!”. At the moment, the cellar team is having to play a game of tank-Tetris to fit in all the tanks that are in the space. “We take this in our stride. It pushes the team to come up with some great innovations to keep things going in the cellar,” adds Zinaschke.
At the moment, the Nederburg harvest is currently standing at about 11000 tons across the board – thus about 70% done with the total 2020 harvest. The white wine team is almost done, MCC was finished this past week with Chenin blanc from Elgin. On the red side, the team is still expecting to receive a bit of everything, including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo, and Cabernet Franc. The good news is that despite all the chaos,
Zinaschke and the Nederburg team are positive. “We are already seeing some beautiful, ripe components coming through on the wine. There is good fruit and ripe tannins in most of our Shiraz and Cabernets, and also very fruity Merlots. We are also seeing very good colour across the board this year. I’m excited!” she ends.