Die jaar 2017 het op ’n ietwat hartseer noot begin met die nuus dat Herman Cruywagen einde Januarie uittree as besturende direkteur van Orange River Cellars. Ja, die vriendelike man met die rustige geaardheid wat 15 jaar aan die stuur van die kelder was, het besluit om terug te keer na die ander Kaap, die Westelike een, waar hy persoonlike sake-belange gaan volg.

herman-cruywagenHerman was besturende direkteur tydens ván die uitdagendste en opwindendste tye in die geskiedenis van Orange River Cellars, en hy laat ’n diep nalatenskap. Onder sy toesig het die Suid-Afrikaanse en internasionale wynbedryf werklik kennis begin neem van die Noord-Kaapse kelder as ’n vername speler, een wat die uitdagings van die wynmark tromp-op geloop het en ’n nuwe beeld vir hierdie wynbesigheid geskep. Meer aandag aan wingerdbou om te verseker dat gehalte wyndruiwe ons produkte met die bestes in die land kan laat saampraat.

Die koop van die konsentraat-aanleg by die KWV, wat ’n klomp nuwe waarde ontsluit het. Aandag aan bemarking om nuwe etikette te skep, nuwe markte te ontgin en ’n groot volume produk – DeLush – bekend te stel wat gemik is op die opkomende en mode-bewuste wyndrinker.

Só kan mens aangaan oor Herman se besigheidsprestasies wat toonaangewend in die Noord-Kaapse en ganse Suid-Afrikaanse wynbedryf is.

Sy leiersvermoë is gegrond op luister en deelnemende besluitneming, en sy skerp besigheids-sin en deurdagte onderhandelingsvermoë is legendaries. Watter sakebelange Herman ook al volg, daarvan sal hy ’n sukses maak.

Ons gaan sy onderbeklemde humorsin mis, iets wat daar was in die moeilikste tye. Ook die feit dat Herman altyd ’n tyd gemaak het om na die mees junior of mees senior personeellid te luister.

Hierdie voorbeeldige gesinsman het vir ons almal soos familie laat voel. En hoewel hy nou ’n nuwe hoofstuk begin sowat 800km van Upington,  moet hy maar weet sy spore lê nog diep en dit gaan baie Kalahari sand en ’n sterk wind vat om hulle toe te waai.
Tot siens, Herman, maar nie vaarwel. Jy sal altyd deel van die Orange River Cellars-familie wees en ons sien uit vir jou kuiers. Ons wens jou alle sterkte toe.  

 

 

 

 


For the Lower Orange River wine region, 2017 started with a deluge of rainfall with some areas to the east of Upington experiencing extraordinary overnight showers of up to 150mm. While much of the drought-stricken Northern Cape rejoiced at the rain, these levels of precipitation are not what grape farmers want at the critical fruit-ripening stage.

According to Henning Burger, manager of viticulture services at Orange River Cellars which produces the majority of the Northern Cape’s wine, the rain began shortly after new year. It was heavy, intense and sporadic, mostly concentrated in the easterly regions.

“The Grootdrink wine region, about 75km east of Upington, experienced particularly heavy showers,” he says. “While Upington and the western areas of Keimoes and Kakamas have had some rain, it was the eastern front from Kanoneiland through Grootdrink to Groblershoop that was particularly hard hit, with 24hr figures of up to 160mm in places.”

Despite the intensity of the rainfall, the effect on Orange River Cellars 2017 harvest has been minimal. “Our harvest began this week in Kakamas where the vineyards stayed dry due to slight rain,” he said. “Concerning the waterlogged easterly regions, the wine varieties are still sitting at low sugar levels. If they had been ripe it would have been a major problem for the harvest, but now our farmers just have to manage the threat of downy mildew while the wine grapes ripen in hopefully drier conditions over the next few weeks.”

The major rain damage was in vineyards planted to varieties used for drying to sultanas and raisins which were in the final stage of ripeness or ripe when the rains hit. “From our side in the wine industry we hope not to be in the same boat as these farmers when harvest comes around in a few weeks’ time.”
In a repeat of last year’s performance, the Kakamas Cellar dominated South Africa’s leading retailer-driven wine show, the Tops at Spar/Orange River Wine Competition. Kakamas, one of the five wineries in the stable of Upington-based Orange River Cellars, was announced winner of the competition’s Grand Champion Cellar Award for 2016. The awards were made on Saturday 15 October in Upington.

Kakamas also won the individual awards for Best Red Blended Wine (Ruby Cabernet/Shiraz/Petit Verdot), Best Matured Wine (White Muscadel 2012) and Best Single Vineyard Wine (White Muscadel). The award for Champion Winemaker went to Bolla Louw, the man in charge of operations at Kakamas Cellar. His assistant Marko Pentz was named Runner-Up Champion Winemaker

With the important role played by the viticulturists in ensuring Orange River Cellars receives the finest fruit from its vast region, this competition also awards the year’s Best Viticulturist and for 2016 this was Ockert Vermeulen – also from Kakamas.
This unique wine competition, now in its 15th year, celebrates the relationship between South Africa’s top wine retailer, Tops, and Orange River Cellars, the country’s largest winery which also supplies the wines for Tops’ private label, Carnival, as well as to incentivise winemakers towards improving overall wine quality.

For this annual highlight on the winemaking calendar, winemakers from Orange River Cellars’ five wineries – Upington, Groblershoop, Grootdrink, Kakamas and Keimoes – each make wines specifically for the competition.
The judging panel for 2016 comprised Tinus van Niekerk, one of South Africa’s foremost wine experts who is also consultant to Tops at Spar, international wine judges Neil Pendock and Fiona McDonald, Guy Webber from Stellenzicht, Ntsiki Biyela from Stellekaya Winery in Stellenbosch and Yonder Hill cellar-master Abé Beukes.
Speaking at the awards function, Tops at Spar CEO Mark Robinson said the quality of Orange River Cellars’ wines and the passion, skill and commitment of the local winemakers make it an honour for Tops at Spar to have a supplier such as Orange River Cellars in its fold.

“This competition epitomises the successful relationship between a winery and supplier,” he said. “As South Africa’s leading wine retailer, Tops at Spar and our customers need product of the highest standard supplied on a consistent basis of quality and volume. In this regards, Orange River Cellars continues to deliver year-in and year-out. We would like to think that this joint wine competition, a truly one-of-its-kind, contributes not only to our working relationship but also to the quality of wines we are able to offer to the most important link in the chain, and that is the customer.”
Judge Fiona McDonald, who has been on the judging panel since the inception of the competition, noted the panel’s amazement at the standard of this year’s white wines.

“We have come to expect high standards among the white wines entered into this competition, but the 2016 wines showed that Orange River Cellars’ different cellars have reached new levels of excellence,” she said.
“Chenin Blanc and Colombard – the two mainstay varieties – were delightfully fresh and vibrant. But it was the blended whites that blew me away. Chenin Blanc and Colombard, sometimes blended with Chardonnay, showed skilled, confident winemaking far removed from what we were seeing 10 or 15 years ago. The blending was seamless and showed a true understanding of the varieties’ personalities. And where wooding was done, this was unobtrusive and judicious.”
Besides the good showing from Kakamas, Orange River Cellars’ Keimoes Cellar won awards for Best Red Cultivar (Shiraz) and Best White Blended Wine (Colombard/Chenin).

The full list of awards for the 2016 Tops at Spar/Orange River Cellars Wine Competition:

AWARD

CATEGORY

  WINNER

GREAT GARIEP AWARD

BEST WHITE CULTIVAR

  Jopie Faul/Renier Baard

  Colombard

KATHU AWARD

BEST WHITE BLENDED WINE

  Rianco van Rooyen

  Colombard/Chenin

AUKARABIS AWARD

BEST RED CULTIVAR

  Rianco van Rooyen

  Shiraz

KALAHARI AWARD

BEST RED BLENDED WINE

  Bolla Louw

  Ruby Cabernet/Shiraz/

  Petit Verdot

GROOTDRINK AWARD

BEST MATURED WINE

  George Kruger

  White Muscadel 2012

RIEMVASMAAK AWARD

BEST CLASSICAL MUSCADEL WINE

  Riaan Liebenberg

  White Muscadel

KANONEILAND AWARD

RUNNER-UP
SINGLE VINEYARD WINE

  Wolseley Kennedy

  Winemakers:

  Jopie  Faul & Renier Baard

  Red Muscadel

 

KOKERBOOM AWARD

BEST SINGLE VINEYARD WINE

  Flip Lochner

  Winemaker: George Kruger

  White Muscadel

*ORANGE RIVER

AWARD

RUNNER-UP
CHAMPION WINEMAKER

  Marko Pentz

  Cabernet/Shiraz

*TOPS AWARD

CHAMPION WINEMAKER

  Bolla Louw

  Ruby Cabernet/Shiraz/Petit         Verdot

*SPAR AWARD

GRAND CHAMPION
WINE CELLAR

  Kakamas Cellar

*KHAMKIRRI AWARD

VITICULTURIST OF THE YEAR

  Ockert Vermeulen











Make hay while the sun shines, they say, but don’t forget about the straw wine. This is what Orange River Cellars in the Upington region does very well – good enough to win the only Gold medal for Straw Wine at this year’s Veritas Awards, South Africa’s largest and most prestigious wine and brandy competition which this year celebrated its 26th anniversary.
The Orange River Straw Wine 2015, made from Chenin Blanc grapes, won a Gold medal in a strong line-up of wines standing at a total of 1 670 Veritas entries of which only 167 wines took Gold. Orange River Cellars also won a Gold Medal for its White Muscadel 2015.

Since its maiden vintage in 2010 Orange River Cellars’ Straw Wine has achieved local and international recognition for this far-flung Northern Cape winery. Besides this year’s Veritas Gold Medal, the wine has garnered a score of 91 points in the influential International Wine Review as well as being included in a list of 21 South African sweet wines making up the International Wine Review’s recommended sweet category.

International Wine Review, published in America, is a leading indicator of wine trends and quality throughout the world.
Tasting the Orange River Cellars Straw Wine, reviewers described the wine as such:  “Beautiful golden amber in colour, this is a creamy smooth, beautifully balanced wine with lots of ripe sultanas and stone fruit, and just a hint of crème brûlée. Air-dried grapes are fermented and aged in used barriques. Best served well-chilled.”

According to Rianco van Rooyen, wine-maker at Orange River Cellars’ Keimoes Winery, one of the five wineries in the Orange River Cellars stable, the quality of the fruit and the warm temperatures during harvest time when the straw wine grapes need to be air-dried gave him the idea to attempt this category.

“We were more than pleasantly surprised at the result as the fruit was concentrated in perfect balance during the air-drying, keeping acidity, sugar and prime fruit flavours in harmony,” he says. “The recognition from the Veritas judges is further proof that the Orange River region is showing its ability to produce wines of increasing quality, as vindicated by this and other accolades for our other wines.”

Koos Visser, marketing manager at Orange River Cellars, says the local and wine world is becoming increasingly aware of the improved quality of the region’s wines. “We have one of the biggest teams of viticulturists – six – of any winery in South Africa, so fruit quality is improving in leaps and bounds due to scientific research and farming best practices,” says Visser. “Orange River Cellars is also committed to innovation, giving our wine-makers the opportunity to follow their passions by experimenting with new wine styles.

“And in the case of the straw wine, this commitment really seems to have paid off!

Orange River Cellars from Upington played to its strong points in this year’s Ultra Value Wine Challenge winning two Double Gold medals and one Gold. Ultra Value Wine Challenge is seen as the leading guide for consumers and retailers wishing to discover those wineries that truly over-deliver in terms of wine quality at affordable price-points. Some 500 wines were entered into this year’s competition with a price limit of R100 set on each bottle.

The Orange River Cellar wines that wooed the panel of wine experts called to judge the competition were the Hanepoot 2015 and White Muscadel 2015, both Double Gold Medal winners, with the Orange River White Jerepigo 2014 picking up gold.

In line with international competitions and to keep an eye on the reputation and prestige of winning an award, under 60% of entered wines, were awarded. Of these, just 7% of wines gained Double Gold Medal awards. Less than 17% gained Gold Medal awards, while a little over 30% gained Silver Medal awards. Awards, without any doubt whatsoever, were very difficult to achieve. They were hard earned, thus deserving the strong recognition and attention that they will receive this year yet again. 

According to Koos Visser, marketing manager for Orange River Cellars, the achievement at the Ultra Value Wine Challenge underscores Orange River Cellars’ commitment to the consumer and that is to make the best wine at the best price.

“As a wine producer, our aim is twofold,” he says. “First, we are committed to making a diverse range of wines that express the uniqueness of our wine region along the banks of the Orange River in the Upington region. A totally unique terroir – over 800km from the traditional Cape winelands – allows us to offer a special taste of place in our products. The second goal is to over deliver in terms of quality by giving the customer a better wine than he or she pays for. This Ultra Wine Challenge most definitely indicate that we are on the right track and the wine industry can be prepared for still greater things from the Orange River.”

Visser says that the dramatic increase in quality in the Orange River wines can be placed at the door of the wineries 820 member-producers who are committed to producing quality grapes, as well as the sterling work done by the viticulturists and wine-makers.

“This three-way-partnership has helped the region towards reaching its full potential as a major wine producer, and we sincerely believe the best is yet to come.”

Orange River Cellars is based in Upington and vinifies grapes at its cellars in Kakamas, Keimoes, Grootdrink and Groblershoop, as well as in Upington itself.




Die Keimoes-kelder, een van Orange River Cellars se vyf wynproduksie-eenhede, het skoonskip gemaak by die pas afgelope Oranje-Vaal Jongwynskou op Douglas. Keimoes het die Oranjerivier Wynkelders wisseltrofee vir Beste Algehele Prestasie gewen asook die Bacchus wisseltrofee trofee vir Algehele Beste Wyn en in altesame nege van die 17 kategorieë geseëvier.

‘n Uitstaande kenmerk was hoe Keimoes sy diversiteit ten toon gestel het met ’n verskeidenheid wyne. Keimoes het uitgeblink in diverse kategorieë, vanaf  Beste Prestasie Wit onversterkte wyn (6 wyne), Beste Prestasie Rooi Onversterkte wyn (4 wyne) en Beste Prestasie Versterkte Wyne (3 wyne).

Volgens Mosdop Dippenaar, bestuurder van die Keimoes-kelder, kan vanjaar se Jongwynskou-prestasies toegeskryf word aan die natuur, mense en tegnologie.

“Die wingerdboere het vanjaar uitstaande druiwe gelewer ondanks moeilike weersomstandighede, en hierdie kwaliteit is te danke aan hul verbintenis tot gehalte onder leiding van Orange River Cellars se wingerdboukundiges,” sê Dippenaar.

“Keimoes se kelderspan het gewys dat hy onder die druk van groot volumes druiwe weier om die strewe na top-gehalte wyn prys te gee, ’n gesindheid wat deur al Orange River Cellars se kelders gedeel word. Die feit dat Keimoes tydens vanjaar se oes kon staatmaak op die aller-modernste tegnologie, soos masjinerie om die pH-vlakke in balans te bring, het ook ’n vername rol in die wyngehalte gespeel en bewys die belangrikheid van ’n wetenskaplike benadering tot wynmaak in ’n wynbesigheid van ons omvang.”

Dippenaar sê Keimoes se benadering reflekteer die toewyding en passie tot gehalte wat by al vyf Orange River Cellars se produksie-eenhede bestaan. “Die Jongwynskou gee ons almal egter kans om op ’n goeie voet mee te ding en hierdie gesonde gees van mededinging dra beslis by tot die algehele verbetering in kwaliteit wat deesdae in die wyne van Orange River Cellars te sien is,” sê hy.

Keimoes se sukses op die Oranjevaal Jongwynskou volg een week nadat Keimoes kelder op die Suid Afikaanse Nasionale Jongwynskou, die grootste en oudste wynskou in Suid-Afrika, die trofee vir die Nasionale Kampioen Muskadel gewen het.
                                

Die volledige uitslae van die 2016 Oranje-Vaal Jongwynskou:

Beste Prestasie Algeheel

Oranjerivier Wynkelders Wisseltrofee -ORC Keimoes

2de Beste Prestasie Algeheel

Windmeul Projects Wisseltrofee – ORC Kakamas

Algehele Beste Wyn

Buchus Wisseltrofee – ORC Keimoes (Wit Muskadel – gehout)

KWV Nominasie (5 wyne genomineer)

KWV Wisseltrofee – ORC Keimoes

Beste Prestasie op Versterkte Wyn (3 wyne)

Empro Wisseltrofee – ORC Keimoes

Beste Prestasie op Rooi Onversterkte Wyn (4 wyne)

WarrenChem Wisseltrofee – ORC Keimoes

Beste Prestasie op Wit Onversterkte Wyn (6 wyne)

Bottlers en Packers Wisseltrofee – ORC Keimoes

Kampioen Muskaat  Versterkte Wyn

Della Toffola Wisseltrofee – ORC Keimoes (Wit Muskadel – gehout)

Kampioen Nie-Muskaat Versterkte Wyn

Douglas Wisseltrofee – Groblershoop (Wit Jerepiko)

Kampioen Rooi Tafelwyn

Absa Bank Wisseltrofee – ORC Upington (Ruby Cabernet/Shiraz)

Kampioen Natuurlike Soet Witwyn

Omdraai Landgoed Wisseltrofee – ORC Keimoes (Spesiale laatoes)

Kampioen Droë Wit Tafelwyn

Gys von Wiellingh Wisseltrofee – ORC Upington (Rosé)

Reserwe Kampioen Muskaat Versterkte Wyn

Jacobsdal Wisseltrofee – ORC Kakamas (Wit Muskadel)

Reserwe Kampioen Nie-Muskaat Versterkte Wyn

CJP Chemicals Wisseltrofee – ORC Groblershoop (Rooi Jerepiko)

Reserwe Kampioen Rooi Tafelwyn

Oranjerivier Tenkers Wisseltrofee – ORC Keimoes (Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot)

Reserwe Kampioen Natuurlike Soet Witwyn

FNB Wisseltrofee – ORC Kakamas (Chenin Blanc/Wit Muskadel)

Reserwe Kampioen Droë Wit Tafelwyn

Hotel Waterwiel Kakamas Wisseltrofee – ORC Kakamas (Chenin Blanc/Morio Muskaat)

IMG_2343


The SA Young Wine Show, the largest and oldest wine show in South Africa, brings out the best in the country’s top cellars, and to win a trophy among the crème-de-la-crème of the local wine industry is any wine producer’s dream. This year Orange River Cellars took one of only 17 trophies presented in a competition that attracted 1 868 entries, the victorious wine being a White Muscadel made at this dynamic Northern Cape winery’s Keimoes cellar.

“To win a trophy at the SA Young Wine Show, which has been bringing out the best in the local industry since 1833, is seen as a major achievement,” says Koos Visser, Orange River Cellars’s marketing manager.

“Yes, Orange River is known for its Muscadel, but in the Young Wine Show you come up against the best Muscadel producers in the country from the Breedekloof, Robertson and the Klein Karoo, among others. Like us, these producers take their Muscadel seriously. Quality of fruit, skill in the fortification process and the goal of achieving balance in the structure of this alluring sweet wine is vitally important.

“Coming up with the top score at the Young Wine Show and bagging that glittering trophy, is a great honour for our wine farmers who grow the grapes and the skill of our wine-making teams.”

But what makes Orange River Cellars’ Muscadel wines rank among the best in the world?

According to Henning Burger, Manager of Viticultural Services at Orange River Cellars, the geographic conditions of the vineyards are perfectly suited to yield grapes of outstanding quality.

“The Muscat de Frontignan vineyards that our white and red Muscadels originate from, enjoy the best living conditions imaginable,” says Burger. “They are planted in deep alluvial soils that are rich in clay. Combined with the long ripening period filled with lots of sunny days, this ensures grapes with deep and intense muscat flavours. We harvest the grapes between 26° and 30° Balling when they are full of flavour concentration, which gives our winemakers the perfect fruit to work with.

“I often joke with the winemakers by telling them that they have no excuse not to make winning wines from this calibre of grapes!”

According to Visser, Orange River Cellars is in the favourable position of making Muscadel wines that also have a loyal following among consumers.

“The Muscadel market has declined in the past few decades, but our brand is standing firm among Muscadel lovers,” says Visser. “It is good for us and for our region, but more importantly, good for South Africa and for Muscadel wines that are such a wonderful part of our industry.”

Orange River Cellars performed outstandingly in other categories of this Year’s Young Wine Show. Besides seven gold medals, the winery delivered four Class Winners for Rosé, White Cultivar Blend with Muscat (12g – 30g of residual sugar), White Muscadel below 16%  and Special Late Harvest.



Keimoes span
                                                           Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo, Rianco van Rooyen,
                                                           and Mosdop Dippenaar, and John van Breda, former
                                                          Agri-Expo CEO.
      
                                  




Orange River Cellars from Upington in the Northern Cape joined some of the leading names in the South African wine industry with a 91 score in the inaugural Lauriam Capital Signature Red Blend Competition held by leading on-line wine publication Winemag.  The Orange River Cellars Lyra Vega 2013, a blend of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Tannat and Shiraz, impressed the judges with “red and black fruit, some tea leaf plus spice and a hint of chocolate. Full and dense, although fresh acidity provides balance and the firm but fine tannins ensure the wine ends suitably dry.”

Some 63 entries from 46 producers were received for the inaugural competition seeking South Africa’s best blended red wines. Christian Eedes, editor of Winemag and convener of the panel for the Laurium Capital Signature Red Blend Competition, said the judges sought wines which were distinctive of their originators.
“Instead of the usual practice of dividing them into various sub-groups according to style (Pinotage-based vs Shiraz-based being the differentiation most usually made), we tasted them as one continuous line-up – the thinking being that the fundamentals of wine appreciation such as complexity and balance should apply when it came to making quality assessments,” he said.

Eedes lauded the quality of the entries in an exciting line-up. “Wines in this category shows a real sense of adventure on the part of producers which translates to particular excitement in the glass.”
Koos Visser, marketing manager for Orange River Cellars said that it is an honour for Orange River to achieve a rare 91pt score in a wine competition that attracted some of South Africa’s leading wines from regions who have a pedigree for red wine quality.
 
“Despite the geographical challenges attached to making premium wine in the Northern Cape, the producers, viticulturists and winemakers have shown in the past few years that they are up to the task,” he said.

“And with this wine, the Lyra Vega, they have truly shown what we are capable of as a winemaking unit. To create a blended red wine that shines in front of a team of wine experts holds great significance for us, and I can assure everyone that the international and national wine markets now see Orange River Cellars in a new light.

“The fact that we are located 800 km from the traditional winelands of the Cape means that Orange River Cellars has to work hard to confirm our image as a quality region in the eyes of the consumer,” he says.

“Besides awarding our products, awards such as the Laurium Capital Signature Red Blend Competition are important in acting as an indication of where we are in terms of quality as measures alongside our peers. The latest results have once again shown that the time for Orange River Cellars and the Northern Cape wine region have come and that we are now making wines recognised not only for their quality, but for the regional originality and a true sense of place.”

Rianco & Mosdop 
                                       Winemakers Johan Dippenaar and Rianco van Rooyen of ORC Keimoes attended the 
                                       awards.


Lyra


OWK - White MuscadelThe news that Orange River Cellars, the Northern Cape’s leading wine cellar, has yet again excelled with its legendary Muscadel wines should by now come as no surprize to wine consumers, but this year the producer’s perennial success story has truly reached new heights with two premier awards in two consecutive years. At the Muscadel SA Competition, one of South Africa’s most influential competitions for fortified wines, Orange Rivers Cellars’ White Muscadel 2015 was awarded one of only two Platinum Awards handed out at the event, which was held last week.
This achievement builds on the success of last year’s Muscadel SA Competition where the cellar’s 2013 Red Muscadel also received a Platinum Award.
According to Koos Visser, Orange River Cellars Marketing Manager, a Platinum Award at Muscadel SA represents the pinnacle of achievement on the South African fortified wine scene.
“While it is an immense honour to win the Platinum Award, it is even bigger privilege to have the opportunity to represent our region on such a big stage, and to see our wines receiving recognition alongside South Africa’s leading wine brands,” he said. “The award is extra special for us as it is also a triumph for the new design we gave our fortified wine labels two years ago.”
“With packaging taken into consideration for Platinum status, it is good to know the rebranded look found favour among the judges.”
But what makes the content inside the bottle of Muscadel so sought-after and highly acclaimed?
According to Henning Burger, Manager of Viticultural Services at Orange River Cellars, the geographic conditions of the vineyards are perfectly suited to yield grapes of outstanding quality.
“The Muscat de Frontignan vineyards that our white and red Muscadels originate from, enjoy the best living conditions imaginable,” says Burger. “They are planted in deep alluvial soils that are rich in clay. Combined with the long ripening period filled with lots of sunny days, this ensures grapes with deep and intense muscat flavours. We harvest the grapes between 26º and 30º Balling when they are full of flavour concentration, which gives our winemakers the perfect fruit to work with.”
“I often joke with the winemakers by telling them that they have no excuse not to make winning wines from this calibre of grapes!”
According to Visser Orange River Cellars is in the favourable position of making Muscadel wines that also have a loyal following among consumers.
“The Muscadel market has declined in the past few decades, but our brand is standing firm among Muscadel lovers,” says Visser. “It is good for us and for our region, but more importantly, good for South Africa and for Muscadel wines that are such a wonderful part of our industry.”

With the winter on our doorstep, what pairs better with a fireplace than a proudly South African wine cultivar? 

OWK - White MUscadel

The 14th Muskadel SA Awards, sponsored by Enartis SA, was awarded at a function at Noop, Paarl on 26 May.

From the 16 entries received, Orange River Cellars White Muscadel 2015 and Du Toitskloof Cellar Red Muscadel 2014 was awarded with top honours, each receiving a Platinum award.

Orange River Cellars shows constant good quality with their fortified wines, adding this award to their telly of three platinum and two gold Muskadel SA Awards since 2013.

Du Toitskloof Cellar in the Breederivier Valley is well known for their fortified wines. The Du Toitskloof Cellar Red Muscadel 2014 is a 100% Muscat de Frontignan with a plain, yet striking etiquette and excellent aging potential, a definite must for the cold winter nights ahead.

Gold Awards

The Breederiver Valley showed once again why it is the “soetes” capital with a hand full of gold awards: Van Loveren Rooi Muskadel 2015, Rooiberg Red Muscadel 2015, Badsberg Red Muscadel 2014 and De Wet Cellar, who took gold last year as well, won gold for their De Wet Cellar Rooi Muskadel 2014.

Boplaas from Calitzdorp in the Klein Karoo won gold for the second consecutive year for their Boplaas Heritage White Muscadel. Last year the Boplaas Heritage White Muscadel 2011 won gold and this year the Boplaas Heritage White Muscadel 2013 walked away with the honours.

Judging

Tasted blind, the wines are judged and scored according to a tried and tested points system. The uniqueness of the packaging also contributes to the final points tally and often means the difference between a gold or platinum award. Consumers can identify winning Muscats by the Gold or Platinum Muskadel SA stickers on the bottle.

This year’s five judges were Dave Hughes, (well-known internationally awarded wine and spirits judge ) David Biggs (wine writer), Bennie Howard (Cape Wine Master),

Gert Van Deventer (wine maker) and Winifred Bowman (Cape Wine Master).

Sponsor

2016 is the 9th year Enartis South Africa will sponsor the Muskadel SA Association.

“The continued support of this niche competition is important as many of the muscadel producers are also table wine producers. Our association with the winemakers is key in our commitment to SA winemaking and the continued improvements we are witnessing in the award winning muscadels,” says Murray Giggins, CEO/General Manager or Enartis SA.

“As a dedicated supplier of speciality wine chemicals, Enartis is focused on ensuring that winemakers achieve superior quality in their final wines. Winemakers know that they can rely on the global knowledge gained from the extensive reach of the Enartis brand and people, who provide products of international repute and applications that can be relied upon vintage after vintage.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you for your continued support,” says Giggins.


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