The Western Cape has been experiencing a drought for a straight four years, something that has made headlines around the world.
It was therefore no surprise that the latest figures released by
Vinpro, the South African wine industry body representing over 3 000 producers
showed harvest 2018 to have delivered 15% less grapes than last year. This
means that the South African wine industry is sitting at a short-fall of
170m litres of wine for the year.
But at Org de Rac, things are looking bullish. Firstly, as our crop was only slightly lighter than the industry average, no doubt due to the health of the organically farmed soils that form strong growing relationship between the vines and the earth wherein the roots like.
Secondly, the slightly lighter bunch-weights meant terrific quality as a result of the greater skin-to-flesh ratio. Much of the flavour, colour and tannins – especially for the reds – are found in the skin, and more skin, more taste and complexity.
The reds in barrel – especially Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon – are showing a vivid purple-red colour, intoxicating aromas and superb fruit expression. Whites such as Chardonnay, Roussanne and Verdelho have great varietal character and we just can’t wait to get these onto the market for our customers to experience them for themselves.
And as of writing this newsletter we have already been blessed with far more rain on the farm that we saw last year, with the vines shedding their leaves and preparing for a well-deserved rest in what we hope is going to be a typical cold, wet Cape winter.
All round, it looks like a grape year!
In another boost for tourism and business travel to Cape Town, RwandAir recently introduced a direct flight between the Kigali in Rwanda, Zimbabwean capital Harare and the Mother City. With Org de Rac Winery from the Swartland selected as the preferred wine of choice on board.
The new route will be operational four times a week all year round - with the aircraft departing from Kigali collecting passengers in Harare to touch down in Cape Town. Boasting full connectivity for the duration of the flight via “On Air”, passengers can select from two different levels of comfort, Business or Economy class. And, of course, the opportunity of sipping on one of two of Org de Rac’s organic wines to add to the pleasure of the journey.
“We have been the preferred wine supplier to RwandAir since 2014, currently offering passengers the opportunity of enjoying our Merlot, Chenin Blanc, Lightly Wooded Chardonnay and the Reserve Shiraz and Chardonnay,” says Org de Rac cellar master Frank Meaker.
“This new flight between Kigali, Harare and Cape Town is a very welcome link between these three Africa cities, and will no doubt lead to increased tourism and business. Besides the comfort of the aircraft and the quality of the service, passengers will be able to enjoy South African Org de Rac wines, and we look forward to giving passengers who may not be so familiar with wine and the country’s offerings a taste of the superb wines we offer.
“South Africa already exports over R10m worth of wine to Rwanda annually, and hopefully the on-board experience offered by Org de Rac can help increase this.”
Some of South Africa’s foremost wine and travel writers visited Org de
Rac recently for a guided tour by Frank and a tasting of our extensive
wine range. Although these scribes have been exposed to the wines, delivered
to them regularly, they had never walked the vineyards to see the attention
to detail that goes into farming organically. Looking between the rows
of vines it was evident that the absence of chemical fertilisers and pesticides
has led to soils teeming with life and natural growth, producing grapes
of the quality our ancestors were used to.
“It just makes so much sense,” quipped one of the journalists, “we all wish to call wine a product of nature, but surely this is only really possible if the farming practices themselves are natural – and I can taste these in the vines.”
The day ended with some oysters and a range of fresh fish accompanied – of course – by Org de Rac wines.
Media visit to Org de Rac: Graham Howe, Samantha van den Berg, Trudie Webb, Frank Meaker, Anel Grobler, Jan Laubscher, Lucille Botha and Gavin Withers.
As our new road-signs show, Org de Rac is now the Cape wine industry’s
number one address for oysters and Méthode Cape Classique, the bottle-fermented
sparkling wine made to the traditional Champagne method. We have sourced
the finest cold-water Saldanha oysters and six of these plus a glass of
Org de Rac’s La Verne Cape Classic are available to enjoy before or after
And with winter being the time that oysters are in their best condition, now is the time top pop in and enjoy this gourmet experience.
No booking necessary, six oysters and a glass of La Verne for only R90.00.