Oe-LA-LA: Orange River Wine Cellars takes Gold at International Competition for Muscat Wines


Orange River Cellars is well-known for dominating the category for muscadel in South Africa, but it has also left a solid mark on the world stage. A red muscadel from the Orange River Cellars is one of only two South African muscat wines to be awarded a Gold Medal at Muscats-du-Monde, the world’s foremost competition for muscat wines which is annually held in France.

The Orange River Cellars Red Muscadel 2016 was also one of only 38 wines to receive the Gold accolade out of 214 wines entered into the competition from 25 countries and judged by 55 international judges. This year’s competition, the 17th time it has been presented, was held in July in Frontignan-la-Peyrade in the Languedoc Roussillon region.

This international award follows Orange River Cellars’ incredible achievement earlier this year in the Muscadel SA Competition, where Orange River Cellars’ Red Muscadel 2016 and White Muscadel 2016 were both awarded Platinum Awards.

According to Koos Visser, marketing manager of Orange River Cellars, it is tremendously satisfying to see one of the world’s most isolated wine regions featuring on the international wine stage.

“Based in the Northern Cape region around Upington, we are 800km from the Cape winelands – and even further from the wine competition stages of France!,” says Visser. “So it is an enormous honour for Orange River Cellars to receive global recognition by featuring among the top muscat wines from France, Spain, Portugal and other famous wine-producing countries.

orange river landscape Oe LA LA: Orange River Wine Cellars takes Gold at International Competition for  Muscat Wines

“It would just have been interesting to hear the French judges pronouncing Kalahari!”

Irrigated by the Orange River, the region’s vineyards enjoy clean air and a temperate sunny climate. The Muscat de Frontignan vineyards are mostly planted on clay soils, which adds to the body and aromatic components of the wine.

“Although Orange River Cellars is today also focussing on the production of natural table wines such as Chenin Blanc, Pinotage, Shiraz and Chardonnay, we remain a producer of top-quality fortified wines due to the climate which ensures our wines are fruit-driven,” says Visser.

“Our Red Muscadel tastes like a mouthful of sunshine – the clean, succulent sweetness of our grapes, without any wood tannins. This wine has been a staple for generations of South Africans passing through Upington on the way to their Kalahari hunting-trips, so it is great news to tell those hunters that in all these years they have had such an excellent taste for award-winning wines.”