Kleine Zalze’s Project Z both visual and taste feast

Kleine Zalze Wine Estate’s Project Z challenged the winemaking team to find the ultimate expression from a vineyard. The goal? To source grapes from interesting and unique sites and make singular wines that push the boundaries of creativity and innovation.

When did it start?

Originally intended to push the boundaries of winemaking with the aim to improve the quality and complexity of the estate’s Vineyard Selection and Family Reserve ranges, some of the experimental wines were simply too good to blend away, so the team started to bottle small parcels. By 2020, six of these signature wines were ready for release: a Grenache from the 2016 vintage, a Grenache and a Syrah from 2017, two Chenin Blanc wines from 2018, and a non-vintage sweet fortified wine.

Stellenbosch Visio editor Francé Beyers was recently invited to an exclusive tasting. “Stellenbosch can be so proud of this family wine estate that produces consistent wine of excellence. And now they have added a delightful cherry on top with their innovative Project Z range.”

The Project Z range is not only about the wine – Kleine Zalze also wanted to emphasise the winemakers’ creative process with unique and intricate packaging. Forming the basis of the labels are artworks created by the winemakers after a dedicated two-day workshop under the guidance and expertise of renowned South African artist Theo Paul Vorster. Each winemaker created a visual expression of the hidden elements of nature that inspired them. The very first linocut print of each artwork was used to create the labels for the 2020 releases of Project Z.

A look at the final prints

According to the Kleine Zalze cellarmaster, Alastair Rimmer, Project Z is meant to evolve. “The team will without a doubt continue the search to discover more unique vineyards or forgotten sites and nature will keep adding nuances with changes in weather and vintage conditions. The aim remains the same: to present the best expression and reflection of what nature offers. Never the same, never predictable, always evolving.”