London Calling

The world is – finally – opening back up, and it seems everyone is again travelling. It was definitely a busy month of traveling for the Oldenburg team: in early June, Vanessa, Nic and I hosted a week of events at 67 Pall Mall in London for our private clients, trade partners and media. It was a busy and successful week, and we were excited to finally be able to show our wines to the many interested parties. We titled the week Rondekop Translated, as we introduced Nic’s first vintage of Rondekop reds and the 2021 whites. It was an excellent opportunity to connect and showcase our progress.

 

The feedback on the wines was excellent, with each finding genuine appreciation. A common theme across our wines was their purity of fruit expression. I feel Nic has found the golden thread that runs through the entire portfolio. It was great to see it resonate with those tasting our wines during our week in London.

 

I enjoyed watching how well Nic connected with whatever audience he had in front of him. He can move seamlessly from funky, in-depth wine science, to vineyard technology, to some great humour. It was also good to be in London to announce our Chardonnay 2021 being awarded a Gold Medal, at the Decanter World Wine Awards. We strongly believe that high-altitude Stellenbosch Chardonnay will play an important role on the international stage in the coming years. Having our 2021 recognised adds to our belief in our potential.

 

Be mindful that our stocks across several wines are limited, particularly for Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Grenache Noir and Rondekop Stone Axe Syrah. The Tasting Room is always the best place to find our wines, but remember, an email to Marthélize can get you sorted, as can browsing our shop.

 

And now, a moment for congratulations. Well done, ladies! Both Siwe and Petronella were awarded their Junior SOMM certifications (SA Sommeliers Association) during the month. According to Stefan, the SOMM certificate helps each of them to be able to better relate with customers and discuss wines at each customer’s level. I am proud that the team is enthusiastic about continuous wine training and education. It certainly eats into their free time – but undoubtedly it results in each individual (and the team collectively) being much better versed in the world of wine. Ultimately, this allows us to continue to wow visitors in The Tasting Room.

 

In June, we initiated our plans to roll out The Rondekop Wine Club to our more enthusiastic international private clients. The idea is to create a community we hope we can engage with from time to time, both in their regions and at the farm, when they re-visit South Africa, which we hope many do.

 

If you’ve been looking at our 8 Elements Wine Club (perhaps you’ve been considering becoming a member?), now is the time. There are some exciting events on the way for our Cape Town members. Not a member yet? Contact Marthélize.

 

More on the travel front: during the month, Thys found himself in Zambia and Malawi, where we began rolling out our distribution in Southern Africa. We believe these strong tourism markets are an excellent place to position our wines, and we will continue to push into this area. Our wines are now available in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Malawi. Hopefully, we can add Kenya and Tanzania to this list soon.

 

Back on the farm, winter has arrived. We had reasonable amounts of rain, and one can hear the rocks rolling down the river again. We have plenty of work to do, as our replanting program will install about four hectares of vineyards over the next few months. That’s a lot of poles and vines!

 

It has undoubtedly been a busy month for the entire team. From a personal point of view, it was super exciting being in London, introducing wines that reflect their extraordinary terroir on Rondekop, and to finally be able to present their maker – Nic van Aarde. London continues to be the global crossroads for many things – wines included. My takeaway is that the level of understanding and appreciation for the story of Cape wines continues to build. There is a growing belief in the most exciting wine story on the planet. We believe that this story has many legs and significantly a lot further to run.

 

The good news is we are on the road and running too!

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