R46 betw. Tulbagh & Ceres,

Wolseley, Western Cape

GPS: 33 24′ 19.91″ S 19 14′ 20.24″ E

Tel: 023 231 0002

www.waverleyhills.co.za

At last…an organic vineyard that produces great value for money organic wines!

Due to the (initial)extra expense of going organic, many organic wines produced in this country are out of reach of the average consumer.

Waverley Hills is an exception to this in that their wines range in price from R45 to R75 per bottle. A large part of this is due to the fact that the farm was started on ‘virgin’ soil(being previously untouched by man) and hence there being no 3-4 year conversion period for it to be certified organic…ie. they could be classified organic almost immediately based on their farming practices.

Waverley Hills Estate is situated between Tulbagh and Ceres, at the foothills of the breathtaking Witzenberg Mountain Range. The area is renowned for its diverse fynbos, giving their wines a unique fynbos characteristic.

It is owned by Brenn-O-Kem, a company which processes the waste and by-products of the SA wine industry in an environmentally friendly manner and transforms them into finished products used by inter alia the wine and pharmaceutical industries.

In 2000, they decided to enter the organic wine market and since then a total of 30ha of vineyards and olive groves have been planted and cultivated organically producing wines with a unique style, extremely smooth with soft ripe tannins and robust fynbos characteristics. They also produce a range of organic olive and olive oil products. In fact if you have ever bought the Pick n Pay house label organic olive oil chances are it will be from Waverley Hills.

All their wines contain 50% less sulphur than conventional wines and… for anyone with sulphur allergies out there…your prayers have been answered as a new addition, a 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon with no added sulphur has just been added to the range. This is a first that I have come across in the Western Cape. This wine is recommended to keep chilled and enjoyed immediately due to its lack of preservatives.

They do a variety of wines(about 8 in total – red and white) to cater for all tastes, some of the more notable being:

  • Shiraz Mourvèdre Viognier 2009 for which they were awarded not only a gold medal at the prestigious Challenge International du Vin in Bordeaux, France but they also snatched the Best Organic Wine – Southern Hemisphere.
  • a Shiraz 2009 – which was the only organic wine to win a gold at the Veritas Awards earlier this year.
  • the first organic Cap Classique that we have come across in our search, which is very popular. Current vintage being sold out with the new vintage being released at end November.
  • Semillon/Sauvignon 2010 for which they obtained the 2nd highest score at 2012 Nedbank Green Wine Awards

Over and above their organic farming practices Waverley Hills is also a farm with a conscience and with this in mind the following initiatives have been put into place:

  1. Over the past 5 years, only 15 flagship South African wine estates have achieved the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI) Champion status. Waverley Hills is proud to be the first organic wine producer to achieve this status.
  2. Waverley Hills has been the winner of the Best Of Wine Tourism Award for - Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices in 2011 and 2012…2 years in a row.
  3. Green Fingers Initiative – Witzenberg Eco Centre
    • In 2008 they realised that there was a void in their conservation strategy. Based on the fact that today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders, a committee was formed to run an Eco-centre based at Waverley Hills in collaboration with Cape Nature, the Education Sector, the local Municipalities and the Department of Agriculture.
    • Formed in 2009 and launched in 2010 the aim of project is to provide children with a sense of pride of where they live and to create a greener environment by providing the local community with a venue where environmental programmes can be facilitated from.
    • The program is geared towards the Grade 5 and Grade 6 school curriculum and to the environmental nature calendar.  Seven schools within the Witzenberg District were selected involving over 1000 children per stage, all from different cultural groups.

As we can see these guys are serious about the environment and put their money where their mouth is.

The wine tasting area is equally impressive with stunning views of the surrounding area and contains:

  1. a deli which sells a variety of olive products as well as an interesting assortment of other farm based items such as organic grape seed extract and wine jelly.
  2. a restaurant which uses only the freshest ingredients sourced from local producers, along with organic products from the farm whenever possible.
  3. They also cater for weddings, private functions, conferences, birthday parties etc.

I am very excited to be able to offer one of our readers a 6 bottle mixed case of Waverley Hills wines which will include a bottle of the soon to be released organic bubbly! A first for our site.

Summer is now here…a perfect time for sipping some organic bubbly at one of the many festive events taking place.

To be eligible to win please share this article and then answer the question below:

Which of the Waverley Hills Wines was the only organic wine to be awarded a gold medal at this year’s Veritas Awards?

Current subscribers can answer by emailing randal@greggsplatter.co.za with the answer.

Remember only subscribers can enter so if you are not one yet please click on this link to subscribe and answer.

Closing date for entries is Tuesday 22 November 2011 and draw will take place on Wednesday 23 November.