Mother Nature is ultimately always in charge

– News Article

Harvest 2020 Update from Zinaschke Steyn

As the world learns to grapple with the new reality we are all facing, we take a moment to reflect on how Mother Nature is ultimately always in charge. With this vintage described across the board as short and intense and one for the history books, everything miraculously wrapped up the day of National Lockdown. At Nederburg, Red Wine Assistant Zinaschke Steyn explains: “We were off to a slow start on the red side initially, but the pace picked up rapidly from the end of February with almost all components ripening at once – we had to think on our feet constantly to ensure the safe and timely intake of all the grapes.” Overall, the challenges within the cellar didn’t hold the Nederburg team back, with the last load of grapes being safely tipped on the early evening of 26 March 2020 - the same evening as the lockdown came into place.

In total, the team harvested 14 682 tonnes of grapes (+/-8000 red, +/- 4600 white and +/- 2000 MCC). Despite the ongoing threat of the pandemic, the Nederburg team reacted proactively. “We currently have a COVID-19 Peloton (a small group of very passionate and dedicated employees) in the cellar that volunteered to help ensure that we get the last of the 2020 harvest through the process safely. We still have a lot of pressing to do on the red wine side and then it is crucial to ensure that all young wines are transferred into barrels and full tanks as soon as possible for malolactic fermentation to take place. The White wine team is currently tasting through all the young wines, batching and sulphuring up into full tanks, topping barrels and also taking meticulous care of the 2020 Nederburg Noble Late Harvest that is still busy fermenting at the moment,” says Zinaschke.

Thankfully, the skeleton staff is taken care of very well on site – with access control, temperature checks and hand sanitizing as you clock in. They also receive gloves, masks and hand sanitizer to ensure proper hygiene and general health and safety whilst working.

Despite unprecedented challenges, Zinaschke reflects back on 2020 Vintage positively, expanding on the fact that one of her personal highlights was the full day-shift team safely together on the last day before lockdown, tipping the final load and saying thank you for yet again, a blessed harvest.