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.

ORC Opening

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.

A time to centralize

In 2022, two of our wines won stellar awards at the SA Young Wine Show. Our Sterkstaan Pinotage won the National Champion Award for the Pinotage division and our Quasar Sauvignon Blanc won the National Champion Award for the Wooded Sauvignon Blanc division.

2023 was a year of change. This was the first year that the bin system was implemented. This is also the year that Orange River Cellars was converted from a Cooperation to a Private Company.

In 2024, a new secondary grapes receival area was built in Upington, just in time for the harvest season. We also centralized the production of all wines to our Upington Cellar.

    What’s Next?