Ever-innovative Stellenbosch wine estate Blaauwklippen is marking its 333rd birthday with the release of what’s understood to be South Africa’s first méthode cap classique (MCC) sparkling made from zinfandel.
This follows Blaauwklippen’s pioneering release of a local interpretation of white zinfandel, a style popular in the United States.
Named “Diva”, the new bubbly was unveiled to the media at Blues Restaurant in Camps Bay on Cape Town’s Atlantic seaboard. It brings to 10 the number of products by Blaauwklippen featuring zinfandel. These include a husk spirit labelled Marc de Zinfandel, varietal bottlings under the Reserve Selection and Vineyard Selection ranges, and a Noble Late Harvest dessert.
“Zinfandel is a unique selling point for Blaauwklippen, and we are committed to build on the legacy that was left to us by Walter Finlayson and his team when they planted the first zinfandel vines on the farm in the late 70s,” explains cellarmaster and managing director Rolf Zeitvogel.
Blaauwklippen’s decision to release a white zinfandel – which is made from red grapes – was driven by the wine-drinking public’s demand for a new wine style and the proven quality of Blaauwklippen’s Zinfandel fruit.
“The time was right to present a new style to the South African public. Local wine consumers are adventurous and always keen to try something new.
“We are widely regarded as the South African market leader when it comes to the production of this grape variety, which enjoys immense popularity in the US. The 2013 Diva MCC was a natural evolution for us.”
The name “Diva” pays tribute to the temperamental, challenging but very rewarding nature of the zinfandel grape. The base wine was kept on the lees for eight months before the start of the second fermentation in the bottle, as per the traditional method. After disgorgement, the wine was aged for 13 months in the bottle.
2013 Diva MCC is available at R135 per bottle from the cellar.