Org de Rac’s Die Waghuis 2017 took top honours at the recent Cape White Blend Report compiled by leading South African digital magazine Winemag, being one of only four wines and the only certified organic wine to achieve a 94pt rating in the 2018 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.
Released for the first time last year, Die Waghuis is the flagship white wine from Org de Rac, the leading organic wine farm in South Africa’s acclaimed Swartland wine region situated near the town of Piketberg on the N7 Cape Town-Namibia highway.
Die Waghuis is a blend of Verdelho, Roussanne and Chenin Blanc, and was introduced to the market last year as the flagship white wine from Org de Rac. According to Christian Eedes, Winemag editor and convener of the judging panel, the judges’ description of Die Waghuis was: “Cut apple, peach, some nuttiness and spice on the nose. The palate is rich and broad with plenty of flavour – good fruit weight plus a nice line of acidity. A very good example of wine made in a more oxidative style.
Of the Cape White Blend category, Eedes says: “Chenin is our most planted variety by far (17 543ha in the ground at the end of 2017, this making up 18.6% of the national vineyard) and we should find ways to celebrate it.”
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.
“The vineyards, exclusively planted for the making of Die Waghuis blend are set on a south-facing slope in an ascending order with Verdelho at the bottom, Roussanne in the middle and Chenin Blanc on the crest,” he says. “Red iron-rich soils, a sunny climate and a constant breeze from the Atlantic Ocean 50km away typify our unique, isolated terroir.”
Green harvesting ensures the grapes for the final selection reach optimum and expressive ripeness. The hand-picked grapes are meticulously sorted, only the pristine fruit set aside for the making of this wine. A percentage of the juice was fermented in new barrels, the rest undergoing fermentation and maturation in 2nd and 3rd fill barriques.
Of Org de Rac’s premium Die Waghuis range, Meaker says the quality of fruit the farm’s 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 is capable of.
“This is the second year Die Waghuis has been on the market, and we are tremendously pleased at how the wines have been received by the critics as well as the consumer,” says Meaker.
“It has always been Org de Rac’s aim to present a premium organic wine offering. The way Die Waghuis has performed at the ratings table alongside some of the country’s leading wineries vindicates our release of top-tier wines underscoring organic wine farming in our unique Swartland geography. It is not only good for us, but also for the category of South African organic wines as current local and international market trends indicate that demand for these wines are increasing rapidly.”
The Winemag accolade for Die Waghuis White 2017 follows on a sterling showing of the wine’s maiden 2016 vintage which achieved a 91pt score from Tim Atkin as well as winning a Gold medal at the Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards.
This wine’s red namesake, Die Waghuis 2016 red wine, a blend of Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Verdelho also won top-spot in this year’s Winemag Signature Red Blend Report being one of only four wines to garner a 93pt rating.