Keeping the Baboons at Bay

Techniques of organic farming vary widely from continent to continent, and at Waverly Hills in South Africa, one of the key activities is that of regularly blowing vuvuzelas (trumpets) to keep the baboons from raiding the vineyards.

Other techniques utilised on the farm include covering rows between vineyards with shade-cloth to prevent weed germination.

Situated in the winegrowing region of Tulbagh in South Africa, Waverley Hills established its first vines in 2000 and has since been singled out for both exemplary farming practices and exceptional wine. It was the first organic wine producer to achieve the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative’s Champion status while a string of awards include its flagship Shiraz, Mourvedre and Viognier (SMV) being the only red blend to win Platinum at Michelangelo International Wine & Spirit Awards in 2014, also winning the Organic Trophy; and, a year later its Shiraz being named SA Champion at the SA Young Wine Awards.

The wine – to which 50% less sulphur is added compared to conventional wines – is made in a 200-ton cellar that employs natural gravitation for the gentlest ushering of grapes to wine. It produces a Cabernet Sauvignon without the addition of any sulphur, which is certified as a “No Added Sulphite” wine. “Reducing our reliance on mechanical pumps makes our wines softer and less tannic, because fewer grape seeds are crushed in the process,” winemaker Johan Delport says.

The Waverley Hills portfolio comprises the Estate and Reserve ranges. The former has traditionally included the property’s Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend; No Added Sulphite Cabernet Sauvignon; Shiraz; and, Sauvignon Blanc/ Semillon blend.

The Reserve range, in turn, has developed an enthusiastic following among wine-lovers and connoisseurs. A string of awards combined with greater investment in the vineyard and cellar is driving a consistency of excellence. In addition to the popular Grenache and SMV (Shiraz Mourverdre and Viognier) blend, the range includes the Waverley Hills Reserve Shiraz, Méthode Cap Classique and, VSC (Viognier, Semillon/Chardonnay) blend. It will also see a wooded Chardonnay added towards the end of this year.

Hall 3, Stand W455