Background

Corporal Pieter Cruythoff, a scout of Jan van Riebeeck, founded the Riebeek Valley in 1661. Impressed by the single standing mountain, which as a matter of fact is exactly the same height above sea level with the exact same soil as Table Mountain, he called it Kasteelberg ('Castle Mountain') commemorating the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town, the fortress of Commander Jan van Riebeeck.

The winery: Riebeek Cellars, established in 1941, is situated in Riebeek Kasteel at the foot of Bothma?s Kloof Pass. This medium-sized winery sources its grapes from the fertile valley and the slopes of the mountain where the climate is very similar to the Mediterranean. Through the years as vineyard practices developed, cultivars were planted in soil and at slopes best suited to them. These well-tended vineyards on the western coast of the Cape Province of South Africa are nowadays the choice of wine buyers internationally and Riebeek Cellars with its production of high quality wines is a hot spot in this area.
The annual crop is approximately 14 000 - 15 000 tons of which 40% are red grapes and 60% white. The average production is 10 million liters per year from own grapes, but with business partners in the Swartland region very high additional volumes can be sourced when required.
The major varieties are -
Red wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Pinotage, and
White wines: Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc.
Rosé: Made from 100% Pinotage and the quality and volume earn to be mentioned as exceptional.
Riebeek's wines are well-known both in South Africa and internationally and a variety of export brands are managed for various countries.

Social and Environmental Responsibility: The Riebeek lifestyle focuses on quality and slow living, but it never loses touch with what it is that makes the valley such a real experience - its people and its environment. Here we still breath fresh air and greet each other in the street. To ensure that we uplift our community, especially the previously disadvantaged, we have invested in several Black Economic Empowerment projects. In 2004 we have bought a farm, which we called Partnership Vineyards. This combined initiative of Riebeek Cellars, producers, farm and cellar workers from the Riebeek Valley with a shareholding of 20%-40%-40%, entails a wine farm that will be cultivated for commercial means. 150 farm and cellar workers are involved. With government financing and the capital support of producers, as well as their knowledge and experience of wine farming, the idea is to develop the farm into a self-sufficient and profitable unit. Eventually producer?s shares will be withdrawn and made available for further empowerment until the total producer?s shareholding is empowered. Riebeek Cellars with a 20% shareholding serves as the production and marketing leg of the project en the wine will be released under the label, 'Partnership'. We have harvested the first Sauvignon Blanc from this farm in 2008. For detailed information visit: www.partnershipvineyards.com. Riebeek Cellars has also contributed 3 hectare of prime land to Nondyebo Farming - a vegetable growing project initiated by a then Riebeek Cellars employee. The cellars provide the water for the project and also assist with administrative and marketing matters. Nondyebo Farming creates jobs for the local unschooled community and provides fresh and healthy food for locals while the quality of the produce has made it a favourite of local shops ensuring the sustainability of the project.
Riebeek Cellars is also a very proud Fairtrade registered exporter of wine.
Our responsibility towards the environment is a matter of great importance and we strive to lessen our carbon footprint. As soon as we have finished harvesting, we will start our planting program of 1 hectare of indigenous trees. Not only will this create jobs, but it will also ensure some more oxygen for Riebeek!

The valley: Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West, a stone throw from each other, form a mecca of wonderful wines, exceptional food and exquisite art where tourists and locals alike are forever tempted into spending more time than allowed. The serene valley falls in the bigger Swartland region which is called the 'bread basket' of South Africa for its grain production, while it is further internationally acclaimed for its high quality olive products. With various Hotels and Fine-dining Restaurants as well as true country hospitality, the Riebeek Valley has become a very popular tourist destination.

Celebrations: While many city dwellers have weekend houses in Riebeek to escape the city over weekends, it is the annual Olive Festival that really gets Riebeek flooded for a weekend of festivities. Usually held during the first weekend of May, the Olive Festival celebrates the lifestyle of the valley with wine, food, music ? all served up with true country hospitality. The Shiraz & Art Festival focuses on the exceptional Shiraz grapes cultivated in the valley and although much smaller than the Olive Festival, this weekend introduces the art behind winemaking and at the same time gives the many local artists a platform to exhibit. A fresh food market, making your own shiraz-based blend and an art competition are some of the highlights of the Shiraz and Art Festival.

The ultimate charm of Riebeek Cellars lies in its people and our commitment and passion for wine. Please visit out website for a thorough introduction to our people, cellar and wines - www.riebeekcellars.com and www.riebeekvalley.info


Riebeek Cellars
+27.224481213