Setting standards

In 2004 De Wetshof became the first known South African wine estate to receive the three most sought after national and international certificates relating to quality management systems, safety and hazard standards.

As the estate, the broader wine industry and especially systems and standards within the industry evolved over the past decade, so Danie and Lesca de Wet – together with their team – adapted their business to qualify for the following standards:

ISO 9001:2000 (Quality Management Systems)
SANS 0330 HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points)
BRC (British Retail Consortium) Global Standards – Food certification.

Danie summed it up as follows: Each of these is a vital component in our drive to develop our markets in both the EU and other key regions. To complete them all at the same time has been quite an exercise for a family-run winery.

We have chosen to do all three, to cover all bases because some regions in the world have their own specific standards and we respect that.

Previously UK auditors did the BRC certification, but the South African Bureau of Standards has been accredited to operate locally and do the necessary auditing and implementation. It claims that South Africa exports R3 billion worth of food and beverages to the UK annually.

The SABS has stated that export opportunities were increasing and the demand for food and beverage safety certification was growing exponentially.

This is another of the ways that Danie’s philosophy of combining cutting-edge technology in both the vineyard and the cellars, together with good, commonsense farming and winemaking practices has stood the estate in good stead.

"We use our experience and instincts in creating top quality wines, but over the past 30 years technology has played a vital role in ensuring we remain at the forefront. The past decade has shown us how vital it is and we have no doubt that it will be even more so in the next 10 years."

"It is no longer possible to tell consumers that you are doing everything in your power to provide them with a wine which is not going to harm them – if enjoyed in moderation naturally – they insist on checks and balances."

"We have been evolving over the years, introducing new systems and technologies and these have had to be streamlined and actually written up in a way that they can be evaluated."

"This is an ongoing way of working and because annual, independent, audits are part and parcel of the new regime, we know that it must be part and parcel of the way we operate."

“We continually look at what the markets of the world expect of us in terms of quality, hazard control and the technical aspects relating to the growing of grapes and making and bottling of wine." 

"We can thus provide these assurances that everything humanly possible has been implemented and then allow the wines to speak for themselves," said Danie.

De Wetshof Estate