Thinking outside of the box.
published on:

If it's obscure and unusual then we want to focus on it.

Most of us are familiar with the Sauvignon Blancs, the Merlots and Pinotages and that darling of the vineyard, Chenin Blanc.

But do you know of Negroamaro or Rotgipfler? I didn't until I got my wine research glasses out.

There are thought to be over 10,000 wine grape varieties - that's a lot of drinking! In South Africa though, our most commonly planted grape is Chenin Blanc and whilst we do produce a lot of unknown, different cultivars, we tend to blend these non-mainstream varieties with other well-known types. However, we seem to be moving into the more unknown cultivars.

This month we will be taking a look at some of those odd varieties and even odder wineries and the spotlight is on:

Piet Dreyer from Raka, named the Raka brand after his black fishing vessel as he was a sailor for 36 years before immersing himself in the wine industry.
With the help of a modern gravity flow cellar, Josef Dreyer produces the award-winning Raka wines. Don't be surprised if he finds a way to start planting vineyards in the ocean.

Gerhard Smith is from La Vierge, also based in Hermanus in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and it means 'The Virgin'. There is a big Garden of Eden theme and their mantra is the Oscar Wilde quote, "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it."

J.D Pretorius from Steenberg Vineyards in Constantia proudly produces Nebbiolo which is incredibly rare in South Africa.

Jean van Rooyen of kosher winery, Kleine Draken near Paarl, where all the actions of the wine-making process are done under strict supervision of the Cape Town Beth Din and nothing is done without the presence of a mashgiach.

To read and view our other unusual articles, view our Spotlight page here

Watch them in the video below

Tel: +27.283410676   Fax: +27.866065462   Email: info@rakawine.co.za   Website: 
P.O. Box 124 , Caledon, 7230, South Africa