‘Make wine, not war’
Jolette Steyn (Jolo) is both a winemaker and a person of interest in the South African wine industry for various reasons. Mostly, she knows her wine! Just a few of her resume highlights include;
She has produced wine across four continents with 15 harvest under her belt and, before going solo, held winemaking roles at prominent South African estates over the past decade and a half.
She holds a BSc degree in Oenology and Viticulture from Stellenbosch University, as well as an MSc in Oenology with stints in France, Italy and Spain completing her thesis in viticulture on garnacha (grenache) vineyards in Priorat, Spain.
She represented South Africa in the World Blind Tasting Championship 2017
She is fluent in 4 Languages and is generally fanatical about wine
After gaining experience at multiple vineyards in South Africa, France, Italy, Spain and the US she shifter her focus to her own passion and going back to the cultivar where she first started, Semillon. What started as an experiment in various fermentation techniques (whole bunch pressing, skin contact and whole bunch fermentation), blossomed into her two maiden releases. Since the rumours of her project first started circulating, everyone in the know has been eagerly trying to get their hands Jolo’s creations, but she kept them back until she 100% happy with how they were drinking. The announcement came a couple of weeks ago, along with stunning reviews from Christian Eedes (Editor of winemag.co.za) on both wines. Fia and I have known Jolo for many years, and have asked her about her wine release every time I’ve seen her since I first heard about them in 2018. Christmas has come early this year for Sweden, as now we get to have it here!
I’ll Be Your Huckleberry 2018 is the first wine in the Second Sail line up and one we are very excited about! A combination of 70% juice and 30% skin contact, it is the more approachable of Jolo’s two wines. The palate has both strong weight and structure for a wine of 12% alcohol, with a long and savoury finish.
Get your own bottle in the Second Sail or place your pre-order for Jolo’s wines in the store before the 14th of June to secure yours. Limited stock of Jolo’s wines will be available once the wines arrive, and the Second Sail is available by pre-order only.
Some notes from Jolo
“The Vineyard Party is a new project, now launching with two small – batch Sémillon bottlings from the
maiden 2018 vintage. The goal here is to source biodiverse, sustainably farmed vineyard parcels,
whilst working with avant-garde vinification techniques, and applying low intervention in the cellar.
OR a quirkier version:
With a nod to the surrealist movement, and a keen interest in dadaism, the Vineyard Party (est.
2018) aims to bring some of South Africa’s lesser known varietals to the forefront by exploring the
Cape’s vineyards in search of biodiverse, sustainably farmed vineyards with happy soils, people and
Both I’m your Huckleberry 2018 and Here be Dragons 2018 are single origin Sémillon from 18 – year
old vines on the slopes of the Helderberg in Stellenbosch. The vineyard is north – east facing and
planted on decomposed granite. The goal was to make an honest wine with minimal intervention
and also try and get around having to press Sémillon which can become quite tricky.”
Classic whole-bunch pressed juice fermented in older barrels (70%) with a portion skin contact fermented in open top tanks (30%) for about 15 days. Spontaneous alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. No additions apart from SO2.
“The name comes from a line in an old Western movie, Tombstone. The phrase signifies acceptance of a challenge, saying I’m the one you’re looking for, I’m game, I’m it. It’s basically a conversation between Sémillon and myself for our maiden vintage, saying ‘let’s go for it’.” – Jolette Steyn
Here be Dragons 2018 is a blend of the whole bunch fermented and crushed destemmed grapes, thus making for a single origin skin and stem contact Sémillon.
“During ancient times, cartographers drew dragons or sea monsters or wrote HIC SUNT DRACONES (Here be Dragons) on dangerous or unexplored territories on a map. This is the more experimental wines of the two. As this is my maiden vintage and I’ve haven’t done skin and stem contact on Sémillon before, this is our challenge, our unexplored territories.” – Jolette Steyn