April 2017

A good year

The harvest is in and Org de Rac's Frank Meaker is satisfied. "The quality is good, we're happy," he says simply. "We interpreted our weather information well, we got it right."

The weather played an important role in the harvest. While the weather was hot and dry at the height of the summer season, strong winds were a regular feature, blowing in off the Atlantic Ocean and keeping temperatures in the vineyards below 40°C. The average temperature between January and February was a moderate 24.6°C, with minimum daily (average) temperatures around 17°C and maximum temperatures about 33.5°C. This resulted in a slower ripening of the grapes and more intense sugar and colour in the berries.

New technology

Another factor that played a key role in the harvest was the availability and use of new technology that was invested in by the Estate. For the duration of the harvest, the data generated by Org de Rac’s newly installed, hi-tech weather station was interpreted on a 24/7 basis by Irricheck, a company that provides exact information about the water requirements of the vines − giving the insight needed to accurately control irrigation. The new technology allowed Org de Rac’s winemakers to introduce regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) for the first time. Using accurate, real-time information, the winemakers were able to keep irrigation to a minimum during the period of cell development in the berry. This discipline produces smaller berries, with a higher skin to flesh ratio, leading to a concentration in the colour and quality of the fruit.

The availability of accurate information about the actual water needs of the vines’ root system at different soil depths resulted in a remarkable 30% reduction in the Estate’s water usage.

Post-harvest fertilisation programme

A third innovation that has helped the potential of the 2017 vintage is the contribution of the last three harvests’ rigorous post-harvest fertilisation programme. The programme was instituted with the purpose of increasing the reserves of the vine in a sustainable way, allowing the Estate to achieve a sustainable, healthy canopy growth and leaf count with a healthy watered root system that ripened the 2017 harvest grapes with ease. The net effect is healthy grapes ripened by the mechanics of the vine and producing rich, well-coloured dark berry fruit style wines.

“This has translated into physically well structured grapes not sun ripened into raisins, resulting in a subtle style change in the wines,” says Frank, “they are wines with more depth, more elegance and finesse.”

Nico's Choice
Nico Bacon - owner of Org de Rac

Traditionally, Easter is a time for eating fish. To prepare our friends for the Easter weekend, we asked Org de Rac's Nico Bacon, to share his favourite recipe for braaied snoek.

Nico recommends pairing braaied snoek with Org de Rac Le Piquet Blanc 2016.

The elegant blend is a perfect companion for any seafood dish.


1 fresh snoek
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
150 ml apricot jam
100 ml butter or olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
4 chopped garlic cloves
25ml soy sauce (optional)
50 – 100 ml white wine (optional)
Dash of chilli sauce (optional)


Using a small pot on the fire, or on a stove, lightly fry the chopped garlic in butter. Then add the apricot jam and lemon juice. If you want to, add some of the optional ingredients. Heat and stir until everything is melted and mixed.

A snoek should be braaied “open”. Smear the skin side of the snoek with oil so that it does not stick to the grid and place the snoek on the grid, skin side down.

Baste the snoek with the apricot jam mixture while the snoek is cooking. Baste as often as you wish until all the basting is used up and the snoek is done.

Pic of the Month

Wolfgang Bildhauer of Big Five Shop, an online shop that specialises in quality wines from South Africa, visited Bethchen Zaayman, Org de Rac’s Sales and Marketing Manager at the ProWein show in Dusseldorf, Germany, in March.

“We had a very successful show,” said Bethchen, who took great pleasure in meeting and introducing Org de Rac’s unique range of quality wines to wine buyers and importers from all over Europe. “There was definitely strong demand for organic wine, especially from European, Scandinavian and Baltic countries.”

Bethchen was also impressed by the scale of ProWein, saying that it more than lived up to its name as the world’s most important business platform for the international wine and spirits industry. Over 6 500 exhibitors from more than 60 nations − more than ever before − were present in Düsseldorf. Half the exhibitors came from Italy (1 600) and France (1 500), followed by Germany (1 000), the “new world” (600) and Austria, Spain and Portugal. All were there to present new wines from the winegrowing regions of the world. There were also 300 spirit producers at the exhibition.

A celebrity exhibitor at this year’s ProWein was the English musician, singer, songwriter and actor, Sting. He was there with his wife, Trudie Styler, to present the wines produced by his Il Palagio winery in Tuscany. 

    Easter Special

Purchase Org de Rac Merlot 2015 for R55 per bottle (normal price R64 per bottle) for the month of April.

Org de Rac Merlot is a lighter red that won Silver at Veritas and three-and-a-half stars at the Nedbank Green wine awards.


Upcoming events

Join us for a buffet lunch on the last Sunday of the month, starting on 30 April 2017. Caterer Wilinda Hanekom will see to it that you enjoy a feast fit for a king! R180 per person with a complimentary glass of wine.

Booking is essential
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