LETHA OELZ HOSTED A WINE TASTING OF THE FANTASTIC SIGNATURE LINE OF REYNEKE ORGANIC WINES / Constantia, South Africa
Letha had the honor hosting a wine tasting of the fantastic signature line of Reyneke Wines at the Constantia Village in Constantia. Letha was swamped with patrons and wine connoisseurs. She had the opportunity to meet and greet many old friends and making new ones introducing Reyneke’s international line of organic wines. Thank you @oelzlethagmail.com_
WE BELIEVE there’s a lot to be said for the way winemaking used to be. There were no chemicals, no “technological advancements” that made the process a process, and natural balance was more important than balance sheets.
Some people dismiss it as old-fashioned nostalgia, but we like to think of it as ancient wisdom. And we embrace it as much as we can. Not just because it’s better for the earth, but because it makes for better wine.
REYNEKE ORGANIC’S APPROACH
Biodynamic Winemaking. The future lies right at the beginning.
THERE’S A LOT TO BE SAID for the way wine used to be made. Back when the Reyneke farm first began as ‘Uitzicht’ in1863, there were no chemicals or technological advancements. Just the land and nature.
Uitzicht (which is the Dutch for ‘View’) is perched overlooking Stellenbosch and False Bay. It has north, east and south facing slopes. The best land is planted with vines and the remainder complements the vineyards with pasture, compost-making and pockets of wilderness.
It’s the kind of balance that’s far more important than ensuring the spreadsheets all balance out. And it’s the true, time-honored tradition of winemaking.
A biodynamic farm is often seen as an ‘individuality’. It needs to be self-sustainable and self-supporting. This is important for two reasons; firstly, to reduce carbon footprint; and secondly, to be less affected by market forces.
If the farm can produce its own fertilizer and compost, this will mean it’s less dependent on trucking-in fertilizer in clouds of diesel exhausts. If the farm is self-sufficient, their own cow manure ‘costs’ the same every day, irrespective of the price of oil.
This understanding is simply the tip of an harmonious iceberg. Our philosophy of “waste not, want not” runs deep into sustainability. Whatever we use, we carefully think about re-using, re-purposing or recycling.
Even a seemingly small decision like whether to put paper in the office recycle bin. We prefer rather to shred it and feed it to our earthworm farm, which then supplies the vineyards with its vermi-compost.
This holistic approach to agriculture requires that we step away from monoculture. Although the vineyards are the mainstay of the Reyneke farm, they exist in a synergy with the vegetable gardens, the animal husbandry being practiced here, and, of course, our people.
Biodynamic agriculture comes from a time when there was a spiritual understanding of life in general and farming in particular. We try to never lose sight of this, putting people first, naming our cows instead of numbering them, and even studying the weeds (rather than just yanking them out) to learn why they’re there.
THE REYNEKE VINEYARDS are herbicide, pesticide and fungicide free. Just like any organic vineyard should be.
Instead of spraying weeds with poison, we carefully select and grow companion plants amongst our vines to outcompete the weeds. These companion plants have the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, help break up compacted soil or even harbor a beneficial insect or two.
While all sorts of poisons are usually used to combat pests, we simply release their natural predators, like ducks – there’s nothing more delicious for a duck than a good, juicy snail.
No poison leaching into the grapes. No expensive fertilizer because the ducks do that for us. Everyone’s happy.
The Reyneke farm is independently certified, which honestly and transparently says that we’re practicing what we preach.
By allowing Dandelion ‘weeds’ to grow, we ensure that the measly Mealybug lives on its roots rather than the vines.
Instead of using systemic fungicides we use very limited amounts of natural fungicides like copper and Sulphur.
And we’re even trying to do away with these natural fungicides. It’s early days yet but we’re trying to replace them entirely and only apply biological controls like Trichoderma and metabolite.
With these basics right, it’s only natural to take organics to the next level. We add specific biodynamic preparations to our compost and apply directly to our vineyards.
These preparations consist of specially formulated herbal, mineral and organic substances that enhance the soil, and simultaneously boost plant and animal life. Some we use in field sprays and others we apply in homeopathic quantities to our compost heaps.
Planting, pruning, harvesting and general vineyard practices all happen at nature’s pace too. We work with natural and cosmic cycles, rhythms and forces that regulate all life on earth to create a harmonious whole.
So basically, like olden times, we work to the moon and study the constellations as they move, rather than digital displays.
IN THE CELLAR
With biodynamic farming, the soil becomes ‘alive’. We let this energies’ the cellar.
THE DREAM OF ANY SERIOUS WINEMAKER is to find a place of perfect position, where the soil composition is special and the climate just right. The idea is then to express these characteristics in the grapes and so produce a wine that uniquely reflects the site.
No artificial additives in the farming process is a practice that continues in the cellar. We follow a non-intervention approach to make the wine, rather guiding the winemaking process in order to display the individuality of the Uitzicht farm.
So you won’t find commercially cultivated yeast or bacteria, acid adjustments or fermentation aids and so on. Only natural solutions to natural challenges.
Old Polkadraai Road,
Monday – Thursday: 9am -5pm, Fri: 9am-3:30pm.
Main Tel: +27 (0) 21 881 3451 | Alternative Number: +27 (0) 21 881 3285
Reyneke Wines Distribution Agents go to their website: https://www.reynekewines.co.za/ …
Wine Tasting, Vineyard Walk & Cellar Tours:
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. To arrange your visit please contact us on
Have a fantastic year.
Letha (Malan) Oelz (You can contact Letha at: email@example.com… please follow me at https://www.finderzkeeperz.co.za/2019/07/08/letha-oelz-hosted-a-wine-tasting-of-the-fantastic-signature-line-of-reyneke-organic-wines-constantia-south-africa/
Reyneke Wines /Photo Credit: Cape Town Magazine
Reyneke Wines / Photo Credit: Hello Joburg
Reyneke Wines / Photo Credit: Wine Magazine
Reyneke Wines / Photo Credit: Food 24
Letha Malan Oelz / Photo Credits: Letha Malan Oelz