Org de Rac Heralds In New Look With Die Waghuis Red From Comet 2019 Vintage

The latest release of Org de Rac’s icon Die Waghuis 2019 red wine is not only from a new vintage but also sports a new look. This acclaimed Mediterranean-style blend from the well-known Swartland organic wine farm situated just outside the town of Piketberg is one of Org de Rac’s most awarded wines and is crafted from a unique blend of Grenache (40%), Shiraz (38%) and Mourvèdre (17%) with the 5% balance made-up from the white Verdelho grape.

The Waghuis name refers to the 18th century guard-house (waghuis) that once stood at the foot of Piketberg to ensure the safety of travellers between Cape Town and the rugged north-western hinterland of the Cape. In its new guise under a more classic-modern label, Die Waghuis is set to take its place as one of the Swartland’s most eye-catching wine labels, the new aesthetic complementing the renowned quality of this Mediterranean-style blend.

“And what a vintage with which to get the latest Die Waghuis release on the market,” says Lizelle Gerber, Org de Rac’s cellarmaster. “2019 still saw the vines struggling to shake-off the effects of the preceding five years’ drought. The dry soils and the overall stress on the vineyards saw dramatically lower yields, but the small, tight bunches gave us berries with incredible flavour concentration. This is arguably the most expressive version of Die Waghuis red to date as the Rhône varieties Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre show gorgeous perfume and sumptuous dark fruit when ripening in hot, dry conditions. The touch of Verdelho adds a bit of extra freshness to lighten things up and works harmoniously with the other varieties.”

The vineyards are set on ancient well-drained terra-rosa soils with a substantial component of shale making this the ideal environment for the grape varieties used in the blended wine. Cold, wet winters and sunny summers ensure the fruit ripens to full phenolic ripeness, ensuring precise variety expression of each grape variety selected to compose this beguiling blended red wine.

Shiraz, Grenache and Verdelho were fermented together, with the Mourvèdre fermented separately, being a later ripening variety. “Some fractions were whole-berry fermented and then mixed with crushed berries,” says Gerber.

“Certain sections of the blend were partially fermented dry for soft fruit expression, and malolactic fermentation took place in 500-litre barrels with cherry wood heads and American oak staves. The wine was aged in second-fill Sylvain Reserve Bordeaux 225-litre oak barrels for 14 months.” 

The use of second-fill barrels ensures that fruit and tannins are superbly integrated, the wood component contributing to the wine’s refined structure adding a smooth creaminess as well as a lingering, soft elegance.

Die Waghuis Red is offered at a recommended retail price of R200.