With the 2020 harvest in full swing, the winemaking team at Kleine Zalze wine estate received very welcome news and recognition for their painstaking efforts. Mundus Vini ¬ one of the foremost wine competitions in Germany and with broad global recognition ¬ has selected Kleine Zalze as ‘Best Producer: South Africa’.
The announcement was made following the Stellenbosch estate¹s excellent performance at the event¹s 26th installment and its annual Spring Tasting. The accolades included no less than six gold medals. These comprised four Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection wines, the Chenin Blanc 2019, Chardonnay 2019, Sauvignon Blanc 2019 and Shiraz 2017. Gold also went to two Family Reserve wines, the Shiraz 2016 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2016. To top it all, the premier award of Best of Show South Africa Red went to the 2016 Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Shiraz and of course then the big announcement of Best Producer: South Africa.
Based in Germany, Mundus Vini sees 11 000 wines submitted every year from across the globe for assessment by its international panel, which comprises oenologists, sommeliers, specialty retailers, journalists and scientists. Every year the results are revealed ahead of ProWein, the world¹s leading trade fair for wines and spirits that annually takes place in Düsseldorf. The event draws some 6 900 exhibitors from 64 countries. This year, sadly the event was cancelled at the last minute due to spread of the Corona virus.
The winery¹s achievement at Mundus Vini follows just months after it was singled out as Best New World Producer in the UK. Singled out at the multinational Sommelier Wine Awards (SWA), Kleine Zalze pulled off this coup for the second consecutive year and third time after claiming the title in 2015 as well. No other entrant has achieved this before.
As part of this journey, Kleine Zalze made the key appointment last month of strategy specialist and wine industry expert Carina Gous to its team. Carina is a former global brand director for Distell¹s portfolio of premium wine and spirits brands and previously held the position of Business Director: Wine Segment at Distell. She played a central role in growing and improving the company¹s wine business at a global level. At the end of 2017 she also took over from financial entrepreneur Michael Jordaan as non-executive chairperson at the industry¹s export promotions organisation Wines of South Africa (WOSA).
The wines singled out at Mundus Vini this year hail from portfolios that are consistently awarded at home and abroad. The event¹s Best of Show South Africa Red – the Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Shiraz 2016 – was made from fruit selected across two Kleine Zalze farms – the home property, and its Faure vineyards. It is a dark brooding wine on both the bouquet and palate. Nuances of dark plums on the mid-palate give way to a long finish with the slightest hint of white pepper. With both savoury and fruit notes, this wine is noted as extremely versatile and with supple tannin structure that will ensure cellaring will be well rewarded.