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Reyneke

The farm was originally called Uitzickt when it was established in 1863. The name is Dutch for “View”, and it is situated in a stunning location, on the Polkadraai Hills, overlooking Stellenbosch and False Bay. In 1998 the Reyneke family bought the 90 hectare property and Johan Reyneke started to make wine, beginning the move to increase biodiversity that laid the foundation for Reyneke to become one of the most renowned wineries in the world. Johan is beyond passionate about the environment, and thinks of their philosophy as “ancient wisdom”, farming with organic, biodynamic and environmental sustainable certification. In 2004 Reyneke became the first biodynamic winery in South Africa. They produce their own fertilizer and compost and their holistic sustainable approach runs deep. For instance, instead of recycling waste paper, they prefer to shred it and feed it to their earthworm farm, which then supplies the vineyards with vermicompost. Reyneke's ducks are natural predators to combat pests, and they even study the weeds to learn why they are there, instead of yanking them out. Reyneke believe that natural solutions make for better wine, and everything in the vineyard is carried out following natural and cosmic cycles and rhythms, working to the moon and constellations as they move, rather than studying digital displays. Johan also understands that it is not just the land that should be respected, but the inherent value of people should also be esteemed, and so he created Cornerstone, a Bordeaux blend, so named because his workers are the cornerstone of the farm, and proceeds from the sale of this wine help with housing, education and pension funds for the Reyneke workers. The natural approach continues in the cellar, with a hands-off, non-intervention path, using no commercial yeast, acid adjustments or fermentation aides, only “natural solutions to natural challenges”. The vineyards are planted at an altitude of between 250 and 350 metres above sea level on ancient granitic soils which have the texture of a sandy loam. Reyneke have a deep understanding of their vines, handcrafting wines dictated by the characteristics of each plot. The results are naturally balanced and integrated, and there is a sense of energy that is transmitted to the wines, which are expressive and compelling.