Bruwer Raats

Raats Family Wines
Award-winning winemaker Bruwer Raats has received international and local acclaim during his highly acclaimed career as cellar master and winemaker par excellence. After several successful stints at prestigious wine estates in the Banhoek Valley in the Cape, Raats established his own winery and tasting room near Stellenbosch in 2005.

The Raats Family Wines label focuses on his two specialities, Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Raats is passionate about these two single varietals and firmly believes that South African winemakers are sitting on an untapped goldmine when it comes to Chenin Blanc.

Raats has received recognition from top international wine writers and critics. In 2006, his 2003 Raats Cabernet Franc was hailed as a South African jewel in the Wine & Spirit Guide with Simon Woods calling it a "seriously sexy" Cabernet Franc. Simultaneously British wine writer Tim Atkins included the 2005 Raats Chenin Blanc 2005 in his "Definitive Dozen" in an article for The Observer newspaper, while winemaster and internationally acclaimed journalist Jancis Robertson continuously remains impressed by his wines. In 2007, Raats hit the front page of the New York Times when two of his Chenins made the top ten list of the illustrious publication's Wines of the Times column.

In 2008, master sommelier Markus Del Monego proclaimed the 2006 Raats Chenin Blanc revolutionary and predicted a fabulous future for South African Chenin Blanc in the Swedish magazine Livets Goda (Good things of life). Calling the Raats Chenin Blanc an obvious example of the grape's great potential, Del Monego enjoyed the brilliant colour and tantalising aromas captured in this vintage."The taste is a perfect combination of fruit, mineral and acid. A resolute complex wine with long aftertaste and an obvious vision - South Africa is going to revolutionize the world of wine," writes Del Monego.

More recently Raats went head-to-head with the world-renowned Chateau Cheval Blanc during a series of vertical tastings in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Attended by wine critics, restaurateurs and leading sommeliers, two vintages of the Raats Cabernet Franc managed to trump their illustrious counterparts.

This year has seen the 2008 Raats Original Chenin Blanc being chosen by wine critic James Molesworth as one of the top 15 value wines from South Africa in the February edition of Wine Spectator Online. In the June 2009 issue, Harpers Wine & Spirit turned the spotlight onto South African wines and the tasting panel included the 2008 Raats Chenin Blanc amongst their top selection of local Chenin Blancs.

Raats' collaboration with Mzokhona Mvemve has produced an exciting, classic Bordeaux blend, aptly named MR de Compostella. This heavenly blend is compiled from Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and astounds with its elegant complexity. The deep and darkly intense ruby colour of the wine is a perfect preview of the classic berry fruit combined with herbaceous, spicy notes. This wine hit the headlines when it was scored 93 points in the prestigious Wine Spectator magazine for a virtually unprecedented three consecutive years.