Good Friday today and we are so lucky Tiger Dorrington from Rijks has agreed to show us around the estate. We are hoping to add their wines to our South African wine selection.
A quick chat in the tasting room and then we climb into the Land Rover to see around the vines.
The history goes back to the 1700s when Rijk Tulbagh was the Governor of the Cape. Not only was the town named after him, but also the Rijk’s brand is in his honour.
The Dorrington family bought the farm in 1996 and planted many different cultivars – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Shiraz and Pinotage to see what best suited the terroir and climate.
The first wine made was in 2002. So this was when grapes were first harvested and received at the cellar and by 2011 Chenin, Pinotage and Shiraz were all winning awards.
After a while it was decided to concentrate on just 2 varieties which were best suited to the area and all the other cultivars were pulled out. As a result now the farm only grows Chenin Blanc and Pinotage.
Tiger was born on the farm and has been interested in nature and agriculture from an early age. He joined the team on a permanent basis in 2016 and now is head of sales and marketing.
The Estate now offers luxury Winelands accommodation where Rijks wine lovers from across the globe can come and meet the family and experience Tulbagh farm life.
We enjoyed our trip around the farm and could see that there is a passion for making quality wines here respecting the environment. Tiger enjoys investigating new ideas in winemaking and marries new and old ways to improve the estate's ,wine.
Tour over - we make our way back to the tasting room and start the important job of sampling the wines on offer here!
There are 4 different qualities of wine here going from an easy-drinking wine to more complex reserve wines.
We were very impressed with the wines and watch this space as we soon hope to be able to offer some of their wines in the UK!
Tiger has started a new small scale project and that is beekeeping! He was very excited to show us his first harvest of honey and this soon will be bottled and sold in the tasting room.
Waste not, want not - his partner is taking the wax from the beehives and is going to experiment in making candles.
With the business over, we enjoyed a lunch on the stoep in the sun. What a great way to spend Good Friday!