She is to South Africa what Mme Loubat was to Pomerol. Just as the former grande dame of Petrus presciently understood the value of her wine when others dismissed it, so Rosa has awakened South Africa to the value of its vineyard heritage and proselytised a higher level of viticulture amongst its farmers, if not by their owners, then by contracted winemakers. As I have written previously, one cannot understate her importance in revolutionising the South African wine scene, changing winemakers’ mindsets as much as their actual wines. (South Africa: Cape Fearless by Neal Martin, Robert Parker Wine Advocate 30 November 2015)
Thanks to the pioneering efforts of Kruger and others who have discovered and cultivated previously neglected old vine stock, South Africa is now one of the most exciting places on the planet to make wine!
The country’s new regard for old vines reminds me of the mid 1980s in South Australia when legendary Rockford winemaker Robert O’Callaghan paid his growers more than twice the going rate for their old vine fruit, which almost looked like an act of defiance as around the same time the South Australian Government was offering growers financial incentives to pull out old vines!
His efforts and those of other foresighted winemakers gave birth to some of Australia’s most renowned old vine wines, including the Rockford Basket Press Shiraz, Torbreck RunRig, Henschke Hill of Grace, Wendouree Shiraz, Chris Ringland Shiraz, Clarendon Hill Astralis, D’Arengberg The Dead Arm and Yalumba The Octavius Barossa Old Vine Shiraz.
In South Africa, Kruger lives in the small town of Riebeek-Kasteel in Swartland, a warm inland region of the Cape wine … Read the rest