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Org de Rac scores 93/100 in the Signature Red Report 2018.

Org de Rac’s Die Waghuis 2016 took top honours at the recent Signature Red Blend Report compiled by leading South African digital magazine Winemag scoring 93pts, one of four wines to achieve this rating in the 2018 competition. Released for the first time last year, Die Waghuis is the flagship red wine from Org de Rac, the leading organic wine farm in South Africa’s acclaimed Swartland wine region situated near the town of Piketberg.

The wine, a blend of Shiraz (66%), Grenache (19%) Mourvèdre (12%) and Verdelho (3%), was one of 68 entries received for this year’s Signature Red Blend Report, the third time that the judging was held. According to Christian Eedes, Winemag editor and convener of the judging panel, the judges’ description of Die Waghuis was: “A very attractive nose with notes of floral perfume and some lifted herbal character before wild strawberry and cherry. Relatively light with vibrant acidity and a saline finish.”

Of the Signature Red Blend category, Eedes says: “The relevant tasting once again proved to be a particularly thought-provoking exercise – flavour profiles, in many instances, are exotic and unusual and therefore challenging.

Some wines are inevitably more aesthetically pleasing than others but for wine drinkers looking for something out of the ordinary, the best examples provide real excitement.

“More and more producers seem to be breaking with convention, not just for novelty’s sake but out of a conviction that they need to be innovative in order to best express their terroir.”

Frank Meaker, Org de Rac’s cellarmaster, says the farm’s premium Die Waghuis range is a true reflection of the potential organically farmed Swartland grapes show for making top quality wine.

“Die Waghuis originates from a vineyard designed to create a three-way blend. We selected a site on the farm’s coolest slope, south-facing and fully exposed to the summer’s cool westerly sea breeze,” he says. “One slope - three varieties: Grenache bush-vine at the top, Shiraz in the middle and ending with Mourvèdre. This was planted with the foresight to one-day harvest the parcels together in a fruit melange.”

After various vintages the desired level of the fruit quality was achieved. In the wine making, certain parts of the blend were fermented together using a range of barrel permutations in terms of age and toasting, with some components aged in 500l cherry wood barrels. “It was an enormously exciting challenge taking the wine to the end. But once completed, you find this incredible melange of spice, aniseed, botanicals and soft ripe deep berry fruit – the list of flavours seems endless!”

Of Die Waghuis premier range Meaker says the quality of fruit these organic vineyards have delivered over the past few years necessitated the introduction of two top-tier Org de Rac wines to show what the property was capable of. Lying to the Cape Town side of Piketberg Mountain, Org de Rac is situated on one of the Cape winelands’ most unique sites.

“The farm lies in isolation, is 50km from the Atlantic and has soils ideally suited to growing a diverse range of wine grape varieties. And it is the quality of these soils and the search for perfection in viticulture that drove the decision to farm organically on Org de Rac from day one.

“This region of the Swartland is where generations have farmed with respect for nature and their unique geography – soil is everything here,” says Meaker.

“The decision was thus taken to keep this precious soil in as pristine and natural a state as possible through organic farming, which is actually just ‘real’ agriculture. The soils are sustainably managed with a rotation of different cover crops, vetches and organic mulching to stimulate microbial activity. When it comes to managing the vines, a strict pruning regimen and diligent suckering programmes are employed to control any occurrence of pests and diseases. Also, we give bunches optimal shading during the ripening season.

“With more-and-more wine regions – especially those in Europe – reverting to organic and natural farming, Org de Rac aims to lead the way in proving that the best wines are made from grapes produced under best practice farming conditions.”

The Winemag accolade for Die Waghuis red wine follows on the recent sterling showing of the white version. The white Org de Rac Waghuis 2016, a blend of Verdelho (37%), Chenin Blanc (37%) and Roussanne (26%) last year achieved a 91pt score from Tim Atkin as well as winning a Gold medal at the Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards. 

Vegan wine produced in the Swartland

( from fin24.com, July 12 2018)

The wine industry can expect the demand for wines free from animal-based products to increase as veganism becomes one of the fastest-growing consumer trends globally.

Org de Rac, the organic wine farm in the Swartland, has eschewed all animal products such as certain fining agents that have been part of the traditional wine-making process, and along with its organic status is experiencing an increase in demand due to its vegan-friendly wines.

“From the outset Org de Rac followed an organic wine strategy as it suits modern consumers and organic farming delivers the best quality wines, to our mind. But having kept a keen eye on the local and international wine market, there can be no doubting the enormous rise in veganism as a way of life – especially among the so-called millennial crowd which is an important part of the wine industry’s consumer base,” says Frank Meaker, cellar master at Org de Rac.

Traditionally, egg white and certain fish products were used in fine wines – getting rid of the cloudiness to leave a clear, polished drink.

“At Org de Rac we don’t use any of these, employing the non-animal agents that are available, such as clay-based bentonite,” says Meaker. “Being a producer of vegan wines comes at the right time for us as there is growing generation of everyday consumers avoiding animal products totally.”

Increase

There’s been a 600% increase in people identifying themselves as vegans in the US over the last three years. According to a report by research firm GlobalData, only 1% of US consumers claimed to be vegan in 2014. In 2017 that number rose to 6%.
In the UK the number vegans increased by 350% compared to a decade ago, according to research commissioned by the Vegan Society in partnership with Vegan Life magazine. Over 600 000 British people regard themselves as vegan, and the increase shows no signs of abating.

Even China is going vegan: research predicts that China’s vegan market will grow more than 17% between 2015 and 2020. And in Hong Kong, 22% of the population reports practicing some form of a plant-based diet.

Meaker says this global increase in veganism is affecting producers of food and beverages, and wine cannot be excluded as the trend rises.
Britain saw a 185% increase in vegan products launched in the UK between 2012 and 2016, and in America producers of dairy products are switching to soya and nut alternatives to meet demand. In South Africa the SA Vegan Society reports of the number of vegans doubling every two years.

“Wine hasn’t generally been identified as a non-vegan product due to the labelling laws and because people associate it with grapes,” says Meaker.

More producers will be taking steps to ensure their wine is vegan-friendly, however, and those that already have are finding traction in the market place. Ignore the reality of veganism at your peril.”

Org de Rac takes to the skies with Rwandair 

Rwandair recently introduced a direct flight between Kigali and Cape Town. Orge de rac was selected as the preferred wine on board. this article recently appeared in drinksfeed.com:

https://drinksfeed.com/org-de-rac-wines-takes-to-the-skies-with-rwandair/




Die Waghuis is 'the best of the best' according to Die Burger, 11 April 2018



Org de Rac Achieves Normal High Score in Alternative Grape Variety Report

The inaugural Winemag Competition for Alternative Grape Varieties saw Swartland organic producer Org de Rac score 92 points for its Roussanne 2017. This competition, which aims to rate the standard of South African wines made from alternative grape varieties as well as to promote an awareness of these wines, saw 97 wines being entered with Org de Rac achieving the second highest score in the White Wine category.

“Roussanne is a wonderful white variety made famous by the great wines of the Rhône region in France,” says Org de Rac cellarmaster Frank Meaker who pioneered the planting of this cultivar on Org de Rac.

“The rocky soils and sunny, dry climate of Piketberg, where Org de Rac is situated, is ideal for this grape especially as you have a westerly breeze from the Atlantic fanning the vineyards. This is the kind of region that makes a winemakers hands itch with excitement as I believe it to be conducive to a multitude of grape varieties – from the traditional plantings of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot we have, to newbies such as Verdelho and Roussanne.”

Org de Rac has one hectare planted to Roussanne on a cooler south-facing slope with east to west row direction. The soils are of terra-rossa formation with a high percentage of shale, providing a well-drained, cool root environment.

“Roussanne is generally a mid-season ripening variety,” says Meaker, “and at Org de Rac we do two harvests. The early harvest contributes to the fruity, light and easy-drinking Le Piquet Blanc. The remaining grapes are left on the vine to gain more concentration before being harvested for this 100% Roussanne. The result is a wine with fresh mineral and citrus characters as well as a seductive floral depth.”

The grapes for the Roussanne 2017 were harvested at 22.8° Brix with a total acidity of 6.2 g/l. They were crushed, chilled down to 15° C and left overnight on skin contact in rototanks. The juice was settled, racked and fermented dry before undergoing malolactic fermentation. A small portion was left on wood staves for added complexity.

“Winemag’s initiative in presenting this competition should be welcomed,” says Meaker. “South Africa makes wonderful Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, but we can do so much more in this country with other varieties. Not only by expanding our national portfolio of diversity and quality, but offering consumers a broader spread of wines to choose from.” 

Org de Rac shines at the awards

Org de Rac recently won a string of awards for its quality wines:


Die Waghuis White 2016:
Platter Guide 4 Stars                  
Tim Atkins 91 Points
Michelangelo Gold

Die Waghuis Red 2014: 
Platter Guide 4.5 Stars
Tim Atkins 89 Points 

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015:
Platter Guide 4.5 Stars
Michelangelo Gold

Reserve Shiraz 2015: 
Platter Guide 4 Stars 

Reserve Chardonnay 2015:
Platter Guide 4 Stars 

La Verne MCC 2014:
Platter Guide 4 Stars 

Lightly Wooded Chardonnay 2017: 
Platter Guide 3.5 Stars 

ODR Merlot 2015:
Merlot Forum 92 Points
Michelangelo Gold

Grappa:
Platter Guide 4 Stars