Orange River Cellars Scores a National Victory at Home

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It had nothing to do with home ground advantage that saw Orange River Cellars taking the SA National Champion Trophy as Best Natural Sweet White Wine at this year’s SA National Young Wine Show. The award went to Orange River Cellars Kakamas production unit for a Natural Sweet Colombard/White Muscadel.

Top image caption: Orange River Cellars Kakamas – Stefan Steenkamp, George Kruger, Johan Ehlers from Agri Expo, Marko Pentz and Ockert Vermeulen.

This year’s SA National Young Wine Show was organised by the Oranje Vaal Wine Region and held at the spectacular Augrabies Falls in the Augrabies National Park on the Orange River, with the awards ceremony hosted on nearby Renosterkop Citrus farm.

According to Koos Visser, marketing manager for Orange River Cellars, the home-team was definitely the favourite for the Natural Sweet Wine Trophy from the outset, despite stiff competition.

“Colombard is a signature grape variety in the Orange River Wine Region, and of Muscadel….well, in its fortified form our Muscadels have received numerous local and international accolades, so we were confident of taking the Natural Sweet Section with these two varieties,” says Visser.

“With over 2 100 entered into this year’s National Young Wine Show and representing all South Africa’s major wine regions, competition was tough and Orange River Cellars is honoured to have the chance of holding a gleaming trophy at this year’s event, one which has been running for 183 years.”

Visser ascribes the success at this year’s Young Wine Show to the ability of this unique Northern Cape wine region’s ability to express itself through the grape varieties Muscadel and Colombard, as well as the dedicated scientific approach to viticulture.

“Each of our five production units in Kakamas, Keimoes, Upington, Grootdrink and Groblershoop has a dedicated viticulturist who works with regional producers to ensure the vineyards are cultivated with the making of premium wines of quality in mind,” says Visser. “This has allowed Orange River Cellars to convert the region from one of mass-produced wines of average quality to one competing in the market for wine excellence at affordable pricing.”

With over 300 representatives from the South African industry descending on Augrabies, just outside the town of Kakamas, all eyes were on the Northern Cape over the past week. And most agreed that when it came to presenting a wine show in spectacular natural surroundings, the Oranje Vaal had raised the bar to dazzling heights.