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Oldenburg: Excited about New Releases!

2 July 2020  -  Oldenburg Vineyards

As we all hope and wait patiently for normality to resume, I take solace that life at Oldenburg has regained a touch of business-as-usual about it. We are heading rapidly into the heart of winter; the first heavy rains have come, and it’s always exciting to see snow on our spectacular mountain backdrop.

The vineyards are at rest and receiving all the necessary cold units to allow proper dormancy. They have completed another cycle, and now is their time to rest.

This month, I am proud to announce the release of Nic van Aarde’s first red wine under the  Oldenburg Vineyards label: the Grenache Noir 2019. I am excited about this wine, as it is a culmination of a multitude of major quality enhancement steps that we started taking around 2015. It began with the natural ageing of the vines, continued with the adoption of positive viticulture changes, progressed with completion of our new cellar, and finally capped it all with Nic taking the reins in 2018. It is worth noting that in two short sentences, I am summarising many thousands of hours of work, passion and dedication that have gone into producing something remarkably special.

With only five barrels produced (a shade under 1900 bottles), the Grenache Noir comes from a small block, at the very top of Rondekop. It is planted on a south-facing cooler slope, which receives the full-frontal blast of the prevailing winds in summer. With so much wind on the block, we have not trellised the vines but instead pruned them into bush vines, allowing them to stay closer to the ground. This assists in avoiding wind damage, and ensures the vines receive residual warmth from the ground in the evenings. We also placed medium sized rocks at the base of their trunks to help support them in more extreme gales. I believe this wine speaks true to its unique place and idiosyncrasies. 

I am also excited to be releasing our Rondekop Rhodium 2017, and Rondekop Per Se 2017. These wines were Nic’s first assignment when he joined: selecting the best barrels and blending the final components – both vital steps in producing wines that truly reflect their sense of place. The 2017 vintage was produced in the middle of the drought years, when the dry conditions were extremely challenging. The drought lead to high quality, smaller berries - with great colour and flavour intensity. The Rhodium 2017 is a return to  simplicity – a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc – and a textbook expression of Right-Bank Bordeaux style. In the Per Se (100% Cabernet Sauvignon), we find a beautiful illustration of what an Oldenburg Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon can be – it is truly ‘in and of itself’! Representing the best of what we produce, our Rondekop wines are the product of the careful selection of first vineyard parcels, and then later, barrels ensuring the wines are in all ways precious- and with a production of circa 3000 bottles each, they are precious indeed. Get in touch at, or (better still) visit us at the farm to secure your allocation.

And the excitement is not over yet. Last, but certainly not least, we are thrilled to announce the launch of our new website. Our goal was to create a website that would enhance your understanding of what we are all about. We feel the new website offers an immersive experience, allowing visitors to begin their Oldenburg Vineyards journey long before they reach our doorstep. The Online Shop also offers a smoother experience - more intuitive, and informative. Visit us online at – and, as always, your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

On the farm, we are busy with the multitude of tasks that are lined up to complete in the months between harvest and pruning. We finished sowing the cover crops, and the winter rains have brought on successful germination. Another olive harvest was brought in, larger than the previous year, with reports of sensational quality. Similar to vineyards, patience is key when cultivating olives, and we are now beginning to see an annual improvement in quality – just as we experienced in our vineyards when they turned ten years old. Likewise, olives seem to relish the ideal growing conditions found in our valley (and on Rondekop). Looking forward to releasing some great olive oil in the next few months – stay tuned!

In the cellar, Nic and the team have been busy...barrels for both the Rondekop Stone Axe Syrah 2019, and the Oldenburg Vineyards Syrah 2019. The release of these beauties is still some way off, but I for one believe it will be worth the wait. The final 2020 reds are now resting in barrel for the next year and a half. All we have to do, is wait.

Nic and the Tasting Room team have also been hosting Zoom tastings for the wine club – these are now a regular feature of 2020. If you’d like to know more – or join the next one – get in touch with Marthélize.

All of us at Oldenburg appreciate the orders from our customers – both local and international - which have helped us with local support efforts during the crisis. We will be continuing our plans of raising funds for food with every bottle sold through our Direct channels for the next few months – your orders will be Making a Difference.

By June we had built up a reasonable backlog of orders waiting for delivery. In the time of Covid-19, we realised the importance of getting wines to our customers swiftly and proceeded to launch a delivery Blitz. The team pulled out all stops - as we realised many thirsty clients had faced a wine drought during Lockdown – and there was a lot of jumping in cars for personal deliveries! We seem to have had a clean sweep of happy customers, and the collective mood was summed up by this email from one of them:

Hi Marthélize and Adrian,
Wine delivered yesterday. Such good service!
What a relief! I never, ever want to be in that situation again!
What a nightmare it was!
Thanks for the extra effort. Much appreciated.

As a last thought, you may have noticed the four words under my signature in our newsletters. Pride. Ambition. Respect. Team. These are the foundational principles of our business. They are regularly focused on and discussed with the entire team. For us, “Respect” is always relevant, and central to how we conduct ourselves. It means respect for one another; for our community; for our environment. Respecting one another is a core belief, from which comes a better world. It is without compromise, and I am happy to report it sits comfortably within our team.

Warm wishes in wine