Where it all started
ORC was established on 23 December 1965.
In 1966 the Orange River Scheme was put into operation and to this day its irrigation canal is the nutritive source of a flourishing wine region.
1967 – Upington Cellar was built and had its first harvest in 1968 with Jan Neethling as winemaker.
Only three variants of wine namely, ‘droëwit’ (dry white), ‘halfsoet’ (semi-sweet) and ‘volsoet’ (full sweet) were made.
In the early seventies, the cellar expanded with the ORC erecting of opening in Keimoes and Grootdrink.
1976 – Groblershoop and Kakamas cellars were built and Orange River Cellars celebrated ten years of existence as the largest co-operative wine cellar in South Africa.
Awards came rolling in from various wine shows. In 1980, ORC walked away with a total of 22 gold, silver and bronze awards from the South African Wine Champions Show.
In 1982, ORC won 4 of the 5 championship titles at the Olifantsriver Wine show in Vredendal.
1983 – Winemaker Noel Mouton was awarded as KWV’s Champion Winemaker at the Olifantsriver Wine show.
Expansion of the Product range
In 1983 the wine range was diversified to include dessert wines, i.e. Muscadel and Jerepigo
1990 Saw the introduction of our first Bag-in-Box and PET packaging solutions
With the growing demand for grape juice concentrate, Orange River Cellars established juice cellars in 1996 at Kanoneiland and Grootdrink.
A Record Intake
Upington Cellar got its first batch press in 2003.
From a first intake of only tonnes in 1968, ORC recorded the highest ever intake of 184 000 tonnes in 2004
The product range kept on expanding. Over the same period, the number of products increased from 3 to over 30
Time for Growth and Change
In 2009, Orange River Cellars expanded again by buying the concentrate plant from KWV in Upington. The new division, Orange River Concentrate, was established.
In 2010, Orange River Cellars became the wine behind the Bafana Soccer team for the World Cup.
In 2011, the change from Afrikaans to English labels were implemented.
Celebrating the First 50 Years
In 2015, Orange River Cellars celebrated 50 golden years of existence
In 2018, Orange River Cellars bought the Farmers Pride Raisins facility – which produces 4,000 tonnes of premier quality raisins a year. The new division, Prosperitas Foods, was established.
Later that same year our Red Muscadel wins a spot in the Top 10 Wines of the World at the annual Muscats du Monde, held in France.
In 2021, the first steps were taken to reduce our carbon footprint by means of a 625kWp solar system that provides energy to the bottling plant.