Happy New Year! For us, the new year brings the new harvest, and the ability to focus the minds of the entire team. Just as the turning of one year to the next allows one to review and reset, harvest brings the past and all the hard work into the present, enabling us to project into the future – how can that not be anything other than exciting?!
Twenty years ago, armed with the strong endorsement by several well-respected winemaking and viticultural consultants, I decided that the opportunity to make great wines on Rondekop was too good to pass on. We bought the farm, and our Journey began. As we begin our 17th harvest at Oldenburg, this perspective of time and the experience we have gained make us excited to take one more step on our Journey with a high degree of confidence.
The season so far is leading to what could be an outstanding vintage. The drier conditions (with not too many heat spikes) combined with cool nights, are ideal according to Dr Etienne Terblanche. He thinks that it contributes to excellent quality in the earlier ripening varietals (in our case, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay). And we must agree – the fruit we harvested in late January was pristine. Nic’s reaction to tasting in the echalas Chenin block was – “YOH”! (watch our January newsletter video here to learn the lingo, but from my understanding, “YOH!” is very high praise indeed). For the rest of the harvest: so far, so good, but there is a long way to go, with Cabernet Sauvignon still two months from picking.
This year we have some important releases coming up. In February, we are releasing our Chardonnay 2022 and the Chenin Blanc 2022 in March. Our Rondekop Rhodium and Per Se 2020 will be released in May. Having been sold out of Chardonnay for the past few months, this is the release everyone has been waiting for.
We are also excited to announce some new partnerships we will be commencing in the next few months. Late last year, we began working with Vinum Fine Wines in Singapore, and with Goedhuis & Co. in the UK. Red and White Wine in Norway, and Victoria Vine in Denmark have also come aboard with us recently. We look forward to having our wines in these new and important markets. Our Private Clients will soon find themselves liaising with Stefan, our current Head Sommelier, as he steps up into a broader role of working with private clients, and steps into the new role as Brand Manager. Stefan will be joined by Megan Ward, who will run our events, and manage The Homestead, while at the same time working with The Tasting Room. George will take over as Head Sommelier. We look forward to watching how the newly formulated team steps up and delivers the next leg of the Journey.
We always talk about The 8 Elements that are so special for our terroir – however, perhaps the secret sauce is The 9th Element: our people. Their passion and teamwork make it all happen. Over the summer period, we have moved into the 21st Century and now use Dineplan as The Tasting Room’s reservation system. Visit our website, and the Dineplan widget will pop up in the lower right corner, for you to secure your booking in a few easy clicks. Always remember to reserve your table, as we recently had to turn away visitors who popped in without a booking. Many guests also leave us wonderful feedback on Dineplan, and the following guest comment best summarises all the comments:
“It is without question our best wine farm to visit”.
One word: YOH!