Life Lessons from the Grape Varietal Guru

Sauvignon Blanc – the grape varietal that continues to provoke strong reactions, both positive and negative – I guess in the same way as one might feel about the arrival of the New Year with a long list of expectations and resolutions, burdened by reality and perhaps dwindling self-discipline!

Similarly, as you can’t take any short-cuts if you want to start the year with change or abandoning a bad habit, so Sauvignon Blanc demands exclusive attention from us winemakers. It’s an enormously demanding grape varietal!

If it is the middle of the night during harvest and you have to choose between digging deep in your reserves for stamina, giving the juice the attention, it deserves, or your pillow that has been longingly calling your name for that much-deserved rendezvous, I’ve learnt that it’s best to stay – believe me you will be richly rewarded for sacrificing on sleep!

Since my early days as a young winemaker, I developed a special fondness for Sauvignon Blanc. My first winemaker job was at a winery where we would harvest grapes from almost all pockets throughout the whole wine growing region of our country. It’s a grape that wears its origin on its sleeve so to speak and it was fun to get to know the incredible differences from those grown in Darling versus one that was rooted in the Elim soils of the south coast, all the way to the rich and complex soils of Stellenbosch.

If you give Sauvignon Blanc the royal treatment, she will shower you with her beautiful, complexity and stunning self. On the flip side – if you fob her of, you will end up with an average wine with no flair.

Having being taught these life lessons many years ago we make sure that with every bottle of Zonnebloem Sauvignon Blanc, we go the extra mile every single time, pulling out all the stops so that you have the full experience every time you open a bottle of our wine.

Perhaps within its stubbornness, Sauvignon Blanc is teaching us all a valuable personal lesson: nothing great comes from mediocre. May the start to your New Year be filled with chutzpah, a tenacious commitment to how ever you choose to tackle 2021 and a gentleness of the soul that will catapult you to great heights!


Elize Coetzee
Zonnebloem Cellar Master


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