Situated in the Constantia valley, Nova Zonnestraal dates back to the 1700s when it formed part of Alphen’s land. Today it belongs to Don and Lynn Rowand, he formerly a big shot in the insurance business and she active in the art market. “My family bought the property in 1935-36 and I grew up with the soil in my toes. Although we lived in Johannesburg for a long while, I was always wanted to come back,” says Lynn.
The property is 16ha in size and in addition to vineyard, there is an olive grove and a top show jumping yard. Roger Burton, previously of Piekenierskloof farm Tierhoek, is winemaker and vinification takes place at nearby Steenberg.
The wine is typically Constantia in flavour profile, showing green pepper, lime and honeydew melon. It’s rich thanks in part to six months on the lees but also has brisk acidity and there’s some pyrazine bite on the finish. It feels a little awkward now and will no doubt have greater composure is six months’ time. Cellar door price: R99 a bottle.