Born of the sea, Guided by the stars, Blessed by the earth

Time flies: Catching up with the Dreyer family of Raka Wines

Time flies: Catching up with the Dreyer family of Raka Wines
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Time flies; 2022 has crossed its halfway mark. So far, Raka Wines has celebrated their 21st harvest, impressive wine awards, and a special birthday.

Time flies, with 2022 crossing the halfway mark. It feels like harvest 2022 – Raka Wines's 21st harvest – came to an end only yesterday!

A reason to celebrate

We are proud to announce that Raka Quinary made it into the Top 100 South African wines as awarded by the National Wine Challenge, the premier fine-wine-only wine competition in South Africa. The wine also received a Double Platinum medal.

Click HERE to shop Raka Wines online.

Raka Luxus Collection, a mixed case of Raka Wines's top red wines.

Time flies: The story of Gerhard Dreyer's fishing legacy

On the topic of time that seems to be going faster and faster, Gerhard Dreyer, oldest of the Dreyer siblings, moved to Remhoogte Farm (which the Dreyers since developed into Raka Wine) with his mother, Elna, when he was seven months old.

His father Piet, owner and skipper of a fishing vessel, was at sea catching fish at the time. A week later Elna and Gerhard fetched Piet and his crew from Hermanus where they offloaded their catch, for a short break. After 3 days they went back to sea. This became standard procedure. If the catch was good, they would touch shore for one day only. If not, they would take a short shore leave of 3 to 5 days before going to sea again looking for a better catch. Only when catches were very poor did they stay for longer.

Soon Gerhard grew to understand why his father was away from home so often and would cry, insisting to go to sea with Piet. Elna tried to comfort him by telling him he was too young and that he could go when he was older. It did not help much, because soon he started asking again: "How old must I be before I can go with my dad?" With his 10th birthday still in the distant future, Elna promised Gerhard that he could go to sea when he was 10 years old.

He seemed satisfied and no longer asked to be allowed to go to sea. 

On the morning of Gerhard's 10th birthday, he was already awake when Elna tip-toed into his room with Jorika on her arm to wake them up so that they could give Gerhard’s birthday present to him. He waited for them to finish singing "happy birthday" before yelling: "Now I am ten, now I can go to sea with Pappa!" He wanted Elna to take him to the harbour and place a radio telephone call to Piet to come in and fetch him. It took some explaining to Gerhard that his father will not “break” a trip just to come and fetch him and that he must wait for the school holidays before he could go fishing with Piet.

That June school holiday was Gerhard’s first commercial fishing trip. Thereafter almost every school holiday found him at sea fishing with Piet.
No wonder then that he caught a lift to Port Elizabeth three days after he wrote his final matric exam and later became skipper of his own boat, Trados, at the age of 19. Time flies...

Gerhard turned 40 at the end of May and the Dreyer family celebrated by camping at Ebb-and-Flow in Wilderness with all the Dreyer siblings, their respective families, Oupa Piet, and Ouma Elna. What did the grandchildren do? The five of them old enough to hold a rod, fished in the Touw River and paddled all weekend, while the two tiny toddlers tried their best to catch the Egyptian geese roaming the lawn. It seems that there are more fishermen to come from this family!

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