The award-winning winemaker, Carmen Stevens, is responsible for creating Kunjani’s wines. Carmen graduated from the Elsenburg Agricultural College near Stellenbosch in 1995, becoming the first black winemaker in South Africa. She joined Distell as assistant winemaker for the Zonnebloem brand. Later she took on the role as winemaker for Distell’s new Tukulu brand, a black empowerment project.
Two award-winning top 10 Pinotages, a stint in California and representing Tukulu abroad was followed by a period at Welmoed for Stellenbosch Vineyards. Then she spent 8 years at Amani where she won the 2008 Decanter Red Bordeaux Varietals Trophy for her Amani Cabernet Franc/Merlot 2006.
Today Carmen utilises Kunjani’s very own shiraz grapes and sources other varieties used in the estate’s wines. “We are very meticulous about where and from whom we buy grapes,” says Carmen. “Quality is of utmost importance as we strive to always put the best in every bottle of Kunjani wine.” The Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards adjacent to the property are managed by the team at Kunjani, providing a hands-on approach for all red wines in the portfolio.
Kunjani has only 2½ hectares under shiraz vineyards the estate’s Riesling is imported from Germany’s Rheingau region.