Stellenbosch, South Africa
"We've made great progress. We're nearly back where we started.
We believe there's a lot to be said for the way winemaking used to be. There were no chemicals, no 'technological advancements' that made the process a process, and natural balance was more imiportant than balance sheets.
Some people dismiss it as old-fashioned nostalgia, but we like to think of it as ancient wisdom. And we embrace it as much as we can. Not just because it's better for the earth, but because it makes for better wine."
The Reyneke Vineyards are herbicide, pesticide and fungicide free. Just like any organic vineyard should be. Instead of spraying weeds with poison, we carefully select and grow companion plants amongst our vines to outcompete the weeds. These companion plants have the ability to fix nitrogren from the atmosphere, help break up compacted soil or even harbour a beneficial insect or two.
While all sorts of poisons are usually used to combat pests, we simply release their natural predators, like ducks – there’s nothing more delicious for a duck than a good, juicy snail.
No poison leaching into the grapes. No expensive fertiliser because the ducks do that for us. Everyone’s happy.
The dream of a serious winemaker is to find a place of perfect position, where the soil composition is special and the climate just right. The idea is then to express these characteristics in the grapes and so produce a wine that uniquely reflects the site.
No artificial additives in the farming process is a practice that continues in the cellar. We follow a non-intervention approach to make the wine, rather guiding the winemaking process in order to display the individuality of the Uitzicht farm.
So you won’t find commercially cultivated yeast or bacteria, acid adjustments or fermentation aids and so on. Only natural solutions to natural challenges.