This is a different kettle of fish altogether…Most of my previous articles on organic wine estates have been small(ish) boutique cellars set up by private individuals who are passionate about both wine and the environment.
This brand is not an estate as such…it is the eco-friendly arm of alcohol behemoth Distell with the vineyards situated in that quaint district of the Western Cape…Darling. It was previously called Tukulu but the marketing guys felt that the brand needed a complete overhaul to align itself closer to a greener, more aware generation and voila!…Earthbound was born.
That said…this is the only certified Fairtrade and certified Organic winery in South Africa…a notable achievement. It is actually a venture between Distell(36% ownership), a group of black Sowetan entrepreneurs(49%) and the farmworkers themselves (15%)
I had a chat with farm manager Henni vd Westhuizen who has been there since the beginning in the late 1990’s. He was tasked with planting around 180 hectares of vineyards in 10 years. He actually planted almost double the area – 340 hectares in that time…a herculean achievement.
The wines are aimed at the entry level side of the market with prices ranging in the R45 – R65 bracket. This does not mean a lack of quality though, as great care is taken in the vineyards to produce grapes of the highest quality. The winemaker, Samuel Viljoen, is also a young man to watch out for as he was recently promoted to chief red wine maker for Nederburg…a man on the move…and extremely busy!
I was fortunate enough to be taken on a tour of the magnificent Nederburg wine cellar, where the Earthbound wines are made, by Samuel himself and what a treat this is. The cellar is one of the oldest in the country dating back to the late 1700’s with everything kept in pristine condition. They even have a museum dedicated to the history and development of the venerable estate.
Outstanding value can be found in the wines of Earthbound, especially the current vintage of Chenin Blanc 2014 which was awarded 3 1/2 stars and best value white and the Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 which was awarded 4 stars at the Nedbank Green Wine Awards 2014.
These wines credentials are impeccable, are great for everyday drinking and will be a welcome addition to any organic wine drinker’s fridge/cellar.
As with all posts on this blog we are offering a prize…this time to 2 of our readers a 6 bottle mixed case each of Earthbound Wines. All you have to do is like this post, share it with one of the social media platforms below and answer this question…
Where are the vineyards which are used to make Earthbound wines?
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Entries close on Wednesday 14 January 2015.
Happy New Year and…Happy, healthy and conscious living to all of you.