Waverley Hills Organic Wine and Eco-Approach Enjoys New Gleam With Sterling Label Re-Design

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The wines of Waverley Hills Organic Wine & Olive Estate have new labels. More than a mere upgrade, the transformed pack cuts to the very essence of the boutique Tulbagh farm’s superlative, crafted wines made in a natural, sustainable way.

A pioneer of environmentally-friendly agriculture, the Du Toit family of Brenn-O-Kem that owns Waverley Hills has been involved in green initiatives long before it became fashionable. With the establishment of Waverley Hills and planting of vines in 2000, the enterprise became a standard-bearer in the wine industry too and was quickly singled out for both exemplary farm practices and exceptional wine.

“Our labels always needed to tell that story,” says Kobus du Toit, who owns the farm with brother Wynand and their mother, Myra. “The new designs achieve this because they’re eye-catching and, at first sight, unify the pillars of Waverley Hills: we are natural, organic, sustainable, conservation-minded, handcrafted, premium and South African.”

Fynbos is the heart of the new designs, which were conceived by Fanakalo in Stellenbosch. In addition to independently audited and stringent farm practices that allow for Waverley Hills to be certified organic, a significant portion of the land is home to amongst others critically endangered Proteas and veld types, and nearly 20% of the farm has entirely been set aside for conservation.

The Cape Sugarbird (Promerops cafer) that plays a vital role in pollinating Protea species is featured on the estate and premium range label and mirrors a logo of the WWF denoting Waverley Hills’ status as Conservation Champion.

“The symbiotic relationship between the species reflects the values we embrace ourselves, and belief in the strength of mutual relationships,” says Du Toit.

Waverley Hills divides its portfolio into two distinct ranges that will feature the new label as wines of this year’s vintage become available. Each range has its own design.

The premium range comprises the Waverley Hills MCC; Chardonnay; Grenache; Shiraz/ Mourvedre/ Viognier (SMV) blend; De Huijsbosch Bordeaux blend; and, CW Reserve Shiraz. Their new labels reflect their bespoke nature and employs rose gold foiling to emphasise class and elegance, and the style of wine.

The estate range consists of the Waverley Hills Pinot Grigio; Sauvignon Blanc/ Semillon blend; Cabernet Sauvignon with no added sulphites; Cabernet Sauvignon/ Shiraz blend; and, Shiraz. They will now bear a modern and stylised illustration with each wine highlighted by a different key colour.

“From my perspective, the label re-design has not only unified our message, but brought it even closer to the character and style of the wines themselves,” says winemaker Johan Delport, who joined Waverley Hills soon after the completion of the farm’s own cellar in 2006. “The stewardship approach we adopt towards our natural environment, we also apply to the vines.”

It’s a happy occurrence then that every Waverley Hills wine shows varying notes that reflect their birthplace.

“The French call it garigue – aromas of fresh herbs, mint and pungent blossoms. To us, it’s immediately recognisable as mountain fynbos,” says Delport.

waverley winemaker Waverley Hills Organic Wine and Eco Approach Enjoys New Gleam With Sterling Label Re Design

Waverley Hills Winemaker Johan Delport

He emphasises Waverley Hills’ pursuit of excellence, a goal the estate has consistently achieved at esteemed tasting panels and leading local and international wine competitions. Most recently, the Grenache 2016 was named Best Organic Red and Overall Winner of the 2017 Green Wine Awards’ Organic category. The 2017 vintage of the same wine was scored 90/100 in the 2018 edition of the authoritative Winemag Alternative Varieties Report.

Combined with modern wine techniques and facilities that include gravity-fed cellar, the vineyards and wines derive benefit from their location along the foothills of Witzenberg Mountain range, which is often snow-capped in winter.

This was the opportunity that the Du Toit family had already seen in the 1990s when they acquired it. The farm was located not far from their visionary enterprise, Brenn-O-Kem, started in 1968 and which today is a leading recycler of winery waste – grape skins, seeds and lees. By the time Waverley Hills became available, they had made their living with an eco-friendly approach for decades – the new journey would be no different.

Today, Waverley Hills is a proud example of a farm working in harmony with nature. It welcomes wine-lovers to its fynbos-landscaped visitor centre, wedding chapel and restaurant.

Waverley Hills is situated 90 minutes from Cape Town, off the R46 near Wolseley, between Tulbagh and Ceres. Its wines are available at leading restaurants and retailers. The estate wines are priced from R70 to R90 and the premium range wines, from R130 to R230.