Oak Valley Estates does as well with wines as it does with apples and pears for Tru-Cape.
Although the historic Oak Valley Estate has long been diversified beyond growing apples and pears into Wagu beef, acorn-fed pork and cut flowers, their wine production has firmly set the estate among the great South African wine producers confirmed by five stars from The Platter Guide.
Anthony Rawbone-Viljoen, one of the founders of Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing, is rightly proud of the estate’s acclaimed success. “Our latest Platter Five Stars for Fountain of Youth Sauvignon Blanc and The Groenlandberg Pinot Noir is just reward for the increased efforts and investment in our purpose-designed cellar that focusses on emphasising the distinctiveness of our microclimate, landscape and soils. These are the same conditions in which our apples and pears are grown.
“We also took the decision to make use of alternative vineyard methods to intensively plant our vineyards at 10, 000 vines per hectare, as seen in Burgundy, France. A typical vineyard planting is 3000 vines per hectare. We wanted the fruit to fully maximises its flavour as it struggles and competes with its neighbours. We are also pleased that this means more rather than fewer jobs and a move away from mechanical picking which is becoming more commonplace.
Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing is the largest exporter of South African apples and pears. Managing director Roelf Pienaar comments: “Oak Valley Estate is an important contributor to Tru-Cape and holds a special place in our hearts as the location of our Heritage Orchard of apple and pear varieties no longer in commercial production. And, the fact that Oak Valley wines are unquestionably drinkable is another plus. On a serious note though, our business succeeds because we add value to our grower’s efforts. Although Anthony Rawbone-Viljoen recently retired from our board of directors, his innovative and forward-thinking business which echoes through every aspect of Oak Valley, remains with us.”