Kleine Zalze is a family owned winery three kilometres outside Stellenbosch and winemaking there can be traced back to 1695. When Kobus Basson and his family bought the property in 1996, the estate was scientifically mapped to find the best terroir for different grape varieties and seventeen years of subsequent investment have seen Kleine Zalze become a highly regarded South African winery.
The vineyards are planted on a variety of slopes soils and aspects and are exposed to coastal breezes from the ocean, 15 kilometres away. This cool climate yields delicate flavors while at the same time providing optimal growing and ripening conditions.
Most of the fruit for this wine was sourced from Kleine Zalze with a few selected parcels from other Stellenbosch vineyards. 2018 was yet again a very dry season and a relatively warm winter. This led to a rather uneven bud break and the vineyard team had to pay very careful attention to practices to help ensure as even ripening as possible. However, some cool weather late in the season helped achieve good physiological ripeness without excessive sugar levels. Owing to the small crop and berry size careful attention was paid in the winery to avoid over-extraction. Blending to ensure consistency of quality from a challenging vintage was maintained.The various blocks were harvested at optimum ripeness and vinified separately.
After selection in the vineyard the grapes were hand sorted at the winery. After de-stemming, the grapes were fermented in a combination of stainless-steel tanks and traditional open-top fermenters. A combination of ‘punch down’ and ‘pump over’ was used at different stages during fermentation for the best possible extraction and to achieve balance between flavour and tannin levels. After primary fermentation the grapes were gently pressed and transferred to French oak barrels (40% new, 30% second-fill and 30% third-fill) for 18 months before final blending took place.