Limoenkloof - Our Labour of Love at De Zeven
Winemaking is often referred to as a ‘labour of love.’ But, like anything in life, the more you put in, the more you will get out. Respect is a huge factor, as well as kindness, gentleness, and most importantly – patience! At De Zeven, one of our many love languages is welcoming you with a glass from the Limoenkloof range, available for sale exclusively to De Zeven guests.
The Month of Picking Love
At the beginning of the year, fittingly around Valentine’s Day, the vineyards in South Africa are bursting with fruit. Winemaking teams are up before dawn, checking, testing, waiting. Once the grapes are at optimum sugar levels, it is time for harvest. Due to the boutique nature of Limoenkloof, everything is done in a very personal manner. The same winemaker has been with us from the very beginning, Van Zyl du Toit, and he ensures that each vintage reflects the terroir of the Simonsberg region.
Each grape is lovingly handpicked, with as little disruption to the vines as possible. The grapes are then hand-sorted for quality, removing leaves and stalks and choosing only the best grapes of the bunch. They are then crushed to remove the juice, and the juice is placed into vessels for fermentation. This can take anywhere from a week to a month – or even longer! Once again: patience, patience, patience. As soon as the sugar is converted into alcohol, Van Zyl faces the tough decisions: which grapes will he blend, and how will they mature each wine?
Love Lives On - Even After a Fire
Limoenkloof typically grew four grape varieties on the estate, namely Sauvignon blanc, Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. However, in 2016 a fire destroyed one of the Sauvignon Blanc blocks which was then replaced with Chardonnay in 2017. Once again patience, patience, patience and after we watched the vineyard grow- 2021 will be the first harvest of chardonnay and we cannot wait to share this new labour of love with you
There’s Nothing ‘Single’ About Our Single Varietals
Typically, Van Zyl opts for single-varietal wines as opposed to blends, as this results in more focused flavours, rather than the more generalised tasting profile of blends. These four varietals are arguably the backbone of South Africa’s wine industry; while the reds are made with intention of quality, ageability and longevity, the Sauvignon blanc is actually transformed into a very unique Champagne-style Méthode Cap Classique (MCC).
Cheers to Love
Champagne and sparkling wines are known to be the wine of love. This is because of the beautiful marrying of the three grape varietals made in traditional Champagne, namely Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. The love between this trio is so strong that Champagne cannot be called Champagne if it includes any other imposing grape. The elegance and opulence of Champagne has inspired many a winemaker around the world to experiment with their own sparkling wines, and Limoenkloof boasts a Champagne-style sparkling wine made solely from Sauvignon blanc. As South Africans, we all love Sauvignon Blanc, so this MCC really is a match made in heaven.
Commitment to Quality
Limoenkloof places emphasis on quality versus quantity. While four wines might seem like an underwhelming portfolio, each step of the winemaking process is extremely personal, and exceptional care expressed. The wines are not made for a “quick fix,” but with a blossoming life of longevity in mind (although they definitely drink well young, too!)
This Valentine’s Day, share in the love of Mother Earth and her produce, the labour of love in the winemaking process, and the giddy excitement of trying out an exceptional wine from Limoenkloof for the first time at De Zeven. If you cannot spend a night or two with us, then we encourage you to show your love and appreciation for South Africa’s fine wines by supporting them during the month of love and beyond.