Interview with John Loubser, general manager at the Steenberg Vineyards Winery in Constantia on the Cape peninsula in South Africa.
Steenberg means Stone Mountain. The reason is obvious when you come here: you are surrounded by stones and mountains, granite stone mountain. This soil gives fantastic sauvignon blanc wines with lots of minerality. They also have sandy soil, loam and other terroir, but all originates from the granite. Steenberg is a very old farm that dates back to 1682. It was actually the first winemaking farm in the Constantia Valley
The strength and what makes Steenberg Vineyards Winery famous are the sauvignon blancs. The climate is cool which is ideal for these wines. Steenberg makes four different sauvignon blanc wines: an entry level wine, one called Rattle Snake, a Reserve and then the “normal” sauvignon blanc. The difference is primarily the origin of the grapes, so the selection. But it is also how they vinify it: stainless steel or oak aging, fermentation temperature etc. (Klein Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc, Private Cellar SB, HMS Rattlesnake SB, Steenberg SB, and Steenberg SB Reserve — maybe they have extended their range since)
Sauvignon blanc from Steenberg is different both from “new world” wines from eg. Australia and New Zeeland and from French style sauvignon blanc. Steenberg from South Africa is in between those two styles not as overwhelmingly aromatic as the NZ style and not quite as steely and lean as the wines from France.
John Loubser, Steenberg Vineyards Winery
- By BKWine
- Interview & production: Per Karlsson, BKWine
- Editing: Louise Duseigneur
- Music: Patrik Lundin