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Kleine Zalze marks 20 years with investment in the future

Published:  29 April, 2016

One of South Africa's major players is marking 20 years in the business with investment in a vineyard analysis programme and new grape varietals.

Kleine Zalze is marking its milestone year by launching a new study of its vineyards to maximise the potential of the terroir and to look at development of new grape varieties.

This month, the Stellenbosch-based producer is launching new varietal Kleine Zalze Cellar Selection Cinsault, which is grown from granite-derived soils.

Kleine Zalze owner Kobus Basson said the company is taking a breath to reflect on what it has achieved so far and to examine the opportunities for the future.

He said: "At Kleine Zalze I have always encouraged a very strong team ethic and the nurturing of our vineyards, our cellar and our people. In our first 20 years we have established strong sales in more than 20 international markets and have received some of the most sought-after awards and accolades for our wines around the world. Now it's time to look ahead as we take the next steps towards maximising our potential.

"A lot has changed in 20 years in South Africa and there are even more changes to come. Kleine Zalze will remain at the forefront of those changes."

The vineyard analysis programme will use state-of-the-art solar radiation and soil analysis.

Kleine Zalze's stalwarts - Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon - will benefit from the study, with additional Cabernet Sauvignon plantings planned for sites found to have the best thermal scores.

Cellar master Alastair Rimmer will head-up the project.

Rimmer took up the post at Kleine Zalze 18 months ago and his career includes making wine for ten years for leading producers in New Zealand, California and Spain.

The family-owned Kleine Zalze estate dates back to 1695 when the farm was acquired by Nicholas Cleef - whose name inspired the 2014 collection.

The producer is best known for its Kleine Zalze, Zalze and Cleefs wine ranges, and is one of the key South African players in the UK on-trade, as well as achieving significant distribution in the independent and multiple off trades.