Happy New Year, from all of us at Oldenburg Vineyards! Undeterred by all that is going on in the world, I am convinced there is only one way to go: forward, and at full speed! It is inescapable that the fog of 2020 will lift, and the sun will shine again. Here on the farm, we are moments away from the start of Harvest 2021, and the anticipation is already building. The build-up to season has been a cooler one, with a generally wetter Spring compared to previous years. As we entered the New Year, the daytime temperatures climbed over 30°C, and veraison kicked in. Our evening temperatures remain around a pleasant 14°C, putting our diurnal temperature range around 16°C, which is ideal to provide the slow ripening conditions that are so important to achieve perfect physiological ripeness. Everything is falling into place for another great harvest!
By now, many of you know we have high ambitions for our wines. And it is not purely ambition, for ambition’s sake. Rather, it is from our sustained belief in the uniqueness of Rondekop. Years of hard work and attention to detail will culminate later this year, when we release the red wines from Nic’s first vintage at Oldenburg – 2019. Nic will be the first to say that it has been a team effort to get to this point, and indeed it has been. We are thrilled to see how far Oldenburg Vineyards has come, and in light of that excitement, 2021 can only be a year where the glass isn’t even half-full – it is just full! As for happenings on the farm in January, we have just bottled the 2020 Oldenburg Vineyards Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Viognier – and the Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc are under cork closure for the first time. There are only 1400 bottles of the Viognier 2020 available, and there will be no 2021 Viognier harvest this year, due to vineyard interventions made last year (the vines were taken from trellised to stok-by-paaltjie). The white wines are yet another step forward in our elevation of quality and will be released soon. Watch this space.
While we look forward to our new vintages with great anticipation, I also want to let you in on a little secret: our Library Collection of back vintages. A number of our private clients and wine club members have been purchasing older vintages of our wines – particularly the Rhodium. Some have taken immediate delivery, and others have opted to store the wines with us for a while longer, until they’re aged to perfection.
On the subject of Rhodium – it was interesting to note that the price of Rhodium (the metal), crossed USD20,000 per ounce this month. That’s about ten times the price of gold. When we chose the name for our Rondekop Rhodium, the choice made a statement of one of our core beliefs: that, in time, this wine too would be seen as something precious, and from South Africa, just as the metal is. I believe we have reached that point in time.
With prohibition back in South Africa (again), you are still welcome to order your wines and we will deliver the moment the ban is lifted. For our international readers, it is business as usual. Follow the link to our price lists (scroll down to the ‘Direct International Orders’ section for individual price lists) and we will soon have your order at your door.
Keeping on the international front, Nic and I will be taking part in a 67 Pall Mall virtual event on the 24th of February 2021. Demetri Walters(MW) will be hosting us, and the event is open for anyone to join via Zoom. It will include a tasting of a very special pre-release line-up. Scroll down to our Bird’s Eye VIEW section below for more details, as well as the link to the event page.
So, from our side, it is Full Speed Ahead. I trust 2021 will be the same for you. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with questions, or any feedback – they are essential and help us grow.