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Org de Rac Achieves Normal High Score in Alternative Grape Variety Report

The inaugural Winemag Competition for Alternative Grape Varieties saw Swartland organic producer Org de Rac score 92 points for its Roussanne 2017. This competition, which aims to rate the standard of South African wines made from alternative grape varieties as well as to promote an awareness of these wines, saw 97 wines being entered with Org de Rac achieving the second highest score in the White Wine category.

“Roussanne is a wonderful white variety made famous by the great wines of the Rhône region in France,” says Org de Rac cellarmaster Frank Meaker who pioneered the planting of this cultivar on Org de Rac.

“The rocky soils and sunny, dry climate of Piketberg, where Org de Rac is situated, is ideal for this grape especially as you have a westerly breeze from the Atlantic fanning the vineyards. This is the kind of region that makes a winemakers hands itch with excitement as I believe it to be conducive to a multitude of grape varieties – from the traditional plantings of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot we have, to newbies such as Verdelho and Roussanne.”

Org de Rac has one hectare planted to Roussanne on a cooler south-facing slope with east to west row direction. The soils are of terra-rossa formation with a high percentage of shale, providing a well-drained, cool root environment.

“Roussanne is generally a mid-season ripening variety,” says Meaker, “and at Org de Rac we do two harvests. The early harvest contributes to the fruity, light and easy-drinking Le Piquet Blanc. The remaining grapes are left on the vine to gain more concentration before being harvested for this 100% Roussanne. The result is a wine with fresh mineral and citrus characters as well as a seductive floral depth.”

The grapes for the Roussanne 2017 were harvested at 22.8° Brix with a total acidity of 6.2 g/l. They were crushed, chilled down to 15° C and left overnight on skin contact in rototanks. The juice was settled, racked and fermented dry before undergoing malolactic fermentation. A small portion was left on wood staves for added complexity.

“Winemag’s initiative in presenting this competition should be welcomed,” says Meaker. “South Africa makes wonderful Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, but we can do so much more in this country with other varieties. Not only by expanding our national portfolio of diversity and quality, but offering consumers a broader spread of wines to choose from.” 

Org de Rac shines at the awards

Org de Rac recently won a string of awards for its quality wines:


Die Waghuis White 2016:
Platter Guide 4 Stars                  
Tim Atkins 91 Points
Michelangelo Gold

Die Waghuis Red 2014: 
Platter Guide 4.5 Stars
Tim Atkins 89 Points 

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015:
Platter Guide 4.5 Stars
Michelangelo Gold

Reserve Shiraz 2015: 
Platter Guide 4 Stars 

Reserve Chardonnay 2015:
Platter Guide 4 Stars 

La Verne MCC 2014:
Platter Guide 4 Stars 

Lightly Wooded Chardonnay 2017: 
Platter Guide 3.5 Stars 

ODR Merlot 2015:
Merlot Forum 92 Points
Michelangelo Gold

Grappa:
Platter Guide 4 Stars