In 1988, the Reyneke family bought the farm 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 to a method of farming which was in accordance with biodynamic principles. There’s a lot to be said for the way wine used to be made. Back when the Reyneke farm first began as “Uitzicht” in 1863, there were no chemicals or technological advancements, just the land and nature. Uitzicht (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. Just like any organic vineyard should be. Instead of spraying weeds with poison, companion plants are carefully selected and grown amongst the vines to outcompete the weeds. These companion plants have the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, help break up compacted soil, or even harbour a beneficial insect or two. While all sorts of poisons are usually used to combat pests, at Reyneke natural predators, like ducks, are released – there’s nothing more delicious for a duck than a good, juicy snail. The dream of any serious winemaker is to find a place of perfect position, where the soil composition is special and the climate just right. The idea is then to express these characteristics in the grapes and so produce a wine that uniquely reflects the site. 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 bouquet shows there are complex notes of pithy yellow peach stone fruit, honey, bruleed oranges, tangerine peel and seductive salty briney notes. Positively bursting with energy and vibrancy, the palate is the near perfect portrait of mouth watering yellow citrus and pithy summer orchard fruit intensity with delicious crystalline acidity, citrus peel zest, spicy ginger and a stony granitic minerality on the finish. This wine is beautifully conceived and expertly executed.