Over the past 79 years of winemaking in the Swartland region, ‘tenacity against the odds’ and ‘a boer maak ‘n plan’ attitude have rung true for Riebeek Valley Wine Co through war and peace, drought and flood and certainly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Riebeek Valley Wine Co 2020 has been the year for re-evaluating, uprooting what doesn’t work, replanting and refocussing. “Never waste a good crisis” says CEO Werner Engelbrecht. “The challenges over these past months has given us the time to critically asses our wines, our vineyards, our people and our business in order to find the areas that need support and the areas that can be pruned. The road ahead is not straight, but we can dust ourselves off and carry on, grateful for all the support we’ve received both locally and abroad .”
As the self-appointed ‘Guardians of the Swartland’ it is important to Riebeek Valley Wine Co to protect the heritage they have their vineyards while also encouraging re-plantings. New Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Cinsault and Shiraz vineyards have recently been planted. These varietals thrive in the dry-land conditions and it’s these varietals that deliver vintage after vintage.
In the recently released Tim Atkin, South African Report, Riebeek Valley Co was named ‘Coop of the Year’ and their Kasteelberg Chenin Blanc 2019 & Shiraz 2018 both received 92 points while their Grenache Blanc 2019 received 91 points. “We are proud of these achievements and believe it is the due to a dedicated focus of on cultivars and styles that highlight a sense of place. Our new boutique cellar has supported our mission to pursue quality by providing a dedicated space with the right tools to vinify small lots from special vineyards”, says Werner.
Riebeek Valley Wine Co care about the Riebeek Valley and its people and have used this period of lockdown to build skills and encourage members of the team through training and skills development. “Every member of our team is integral to our success and during this time, when we’ve really needed to think outside the box, it has been remarkable to see members of the team step up to the challenge”, says Werner.
While the entire country sighs relief that we are finally at level 1, Riebeek Valley Wine Co is gearing up to open the doors of their new Tasting Emporium in Short Street, Riebeek Kasteel on 1 October.
After an extended lockdown, local tourism to the Riebeek Valley has picked up, especially with the lovely spring weather. The new Tasting Emporium will offer visitors a curated selection of hand-crafted Swartland wines from Riebeek Valley Wine Co’s core range and from their limited release small batch ranges; as well as local Riebeek Valley olive products, craft beer, craft gin, light meals etc. More importantly it gives visitors the opportunity to kick-back and discover true Swartland hospitality.
The Riebeek Valley Wine Co Tasting Emporium will be open 7 days a week:
Monday to Thursday 09:00 – 17:00
Friday & Saturday 10:00 – 18:00
Sunday 10:00 – 15:00