Reyneke Wines | Stellenbosch
In 1988, the Reyneke family bought Uitzicht, an 85-acre farm on the ridge of the Polkadraai Hills, with spectacular views of Stellenbosch. Contemporaneously, Johan Reyneke began the lengthy process of the conversion from conventional farming to organic practices and to a method of farming which was in accordance with biodynamic principles. Reyneke was the first farm in South Africa to achieve certification by Demeter International, the largest and the most widely acknowledged biodynamic accreditation body in the world.
The Uitzicht farm (which is Dutch for “view”) is perched overlooking Stellenbosch and False Bay. It has north, east, and south-facing slopes. The best land is planted with vines and the remainder complements the vineyards with pasture, compost making, and pockets of wilderness. The Reyneke vineyards are herbicide, pesticide, and fungicide free. Instead of spraying weeds with poison, companion plants are carefully selected and grown amongst the vines to outcompete the weeds. Grapes are 100% organically certified by Ceres. These companion plants have the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, help break up compacted soil, or even harbor beneficial insects. While all sorts of poisons are usually used to combat pests, at Reyneke natural predators, like ducks, are released. Planting, pruning, harvesting, and general vineyard practices all happen at nature’s pace too. Work is done by natural and cosmic cycles, rhythms and forces that regulate all life on earth to create a harmonious whole. So, like olden times, the work is done by the moon and by the study of constellations as they move, rather than digital displays.
No artificial additives are used in the farming process or in the cellar. A non-intervention approach is followed to make the wine, guiding the winemaking process in order to display the individuality of the Uitzicht farm. There is no commercially cultivated yeast or bacteria, acid adjustments, or fermentation aids. Only natural solutions to natural challenges.
Reyneke produces several ranges of wines including Reserve (produced only in special vintages), Biodynamic, and Vinehugger (organic wines). They also produce a red blend named The Capstone with the proceeds of the wine helping the farm workers and their families.