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Rudiger Gretschel and Johan Reyneke of Reyneke Wines.
Rudiger Gretschel and Johan Reyneke of Reyneke Wines.

“If this doesn’t sell wine, then nothing well,” says Rudiger Gretschel, chief winemaker of wine producer wholesaler Vinimark, responsible for the biodynamic certified Reyneke Wines. It’s  been a good week for Reyneke, first the Reserve Red 2008 earning Five Stars in Platter’s 2011, and then the 2007 vintage winning the title of best red at the Nedbank Green Wine Awards 2011 as well as the Reyneke Woolworths “W” Chenin Blanc 2009 not only best white but also overall.

Wine nerd stuff: the Chenin Blanc is from a neighbouring property to the farm owned by Johan Reyneke, owner and viticulturist of Reyneke Wines. The vines are approximately 70 years old and give tiny yields of about two tons a hectare. They’ve been under biodynamic rehabilitation for four years and Gretschel reckons they’ve got a way to go before they deliver the same fruit quality as the 20-year-old Sauvignon Blanc vineyards on the Reyneke property that were rehabilitated 12 years ago and provide grapes for the Reyneke Reserve White (the 2009 vintage of this wine being rated Four Stars in the Green Wine Awards competition as did the Woolworths “W” Chenin Blanc 2009 and the Reserve Red 2007).

Organic wines are generally a difficult sell on account of consumers being apathetic about the issues. Arcane biodynamic practices tending to make most punters even more sceptical and all associated with Reyneke Wines have until now have struggled to gain a very great popular following. How to make people care? “Farming according to the cosmic rhythms is simply a matter of fine tuning,” says Gretschel. “You can try to justify biodynamics scientifically but after a point you just have to realise that there are some things that are beyond explanation and make peace with that.”

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