Making predictions are not wise in an industry dependent on the vagaries of nature. One therefore has to tread carefully when venturing to predict the quality of a certain harvest, which began recently when we picked our first Pinot Noir.
An undeniable fact is that the winter saw some welcoming rain, and to
date we have recorded close on 600mm of precipitation on Org de Rac – substantially
higher than the annual figures of the last three years.
Spring and early summer have been cooler, too, and this has had a refreshing effect on the vines.
But it is going to take some time and another wet, cold winter or two to stabilise groundwater levels and general vineyard conditions. The prolonged drought put some real strain on the vines, but hopefully things will return to normal now that El Niño appears to have passed on – for the time being.
Bad weather conditions in October during the crucial time of bloom and berry-set had some serious implications on the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Then came that awesome heat- wave at the end of the same month, the kind of heat relatively unknown to this country’s wine producing areas. This will inevitably lead to lower yields, but on the up-side we could see grapes with higher concentrations of colour and body. Who knows, but these are the challenges.
Our vineyards, however, are currently looking extremely healthy, the green carpets of vines forming a pretty backdrop to the dry, yellow expanses of the neighbouring grain-lands. Harvest 2019 is upon us, and we look forward to building on our reputation of improving wine quality.
With the new release of Die Waghuis white wine, from the 2017 vintage, the message is clear: Die Waghuis is set to further do great things for Org de Rac. At the recent Cape White Blend Competition, also run by WineMag, Die Waghuis 2017 Org de Rac’s took top honours, being one of only four wines and the only certified organic wine to achieve a 94pt rating in the competition. This competition is unique in being committed to honouring Cape white wine blends, seen as wines containing at least 15% but no more than 85% of the country’s stalwart Chenin Blanc variety.
In the 2019 Platter Wine Guide, Die Waghuis red scored four-and-a-half stars, with the white coming in at a respectable four. What this is essentially saying, is that Die Waghuis is the range Org de Rac has been waiting for to put it on the map.
For buyers seeking something different, both Die Waghuis red and white have it in their eclectic choice of grape varieties. Then there is the organic proposition: few of the country’s certified organic wines can boast the kind of scores and critical acclaim that has come the way of Die Waghuis, and we are sure the best is still to come. The message we are sending out is: organic is not only natural and good, and what the world wants, but also creates great wines. This has always been our message, and Die Waghuis is causing people to sit up and listen. It has been most satisfying witnessing the way this range has muscled its way into the top echelons of the Cape wine scene, announcing that what we have always known: Org de Rac is a major player in this arena.
One thing that everybody in the wine industry will agree on is that this is an industry of relationships. Getting your wines to your customers and being present to engage with them is the absolute best way of promoting your product and grabbing the imagination of the wine-lover. No matter what the MBA school says, wine is about one-to-on relationships.
That is why Org de Rac has this year travelled far and wide to ensure our personnel are physically present to introduce the wines, tell their stories and spark the required interest among the consumer. From vegan wine dinners at Cape Town restaurants, to bustling wine shoes in Gauteng and Mpumalanga, Org de Rac has been there to take our unique organic wines to the people.
This has allowed us to gauge the perception of the wines, and we are tremendously excited by the interest shown in our diverse selection of classic wine, as well as the unique blends and varietals our cellarmaster Frank Meaker creates for our brand .
Look out for us during 2019 when we will be on the road again.