A bumper crop of accolades for Van Loveren

Thursday, 11 November, 2004
Arnold Kirkby
Van Loveren – on the banks of the Breede River between Robertson and Bonnievale is fast securing the title of “winery of the people” – having gleaned its second title this year for its wide range of consistent, top quality wines.

This family business has just powered its way to the top of the listings in the local Wine Magazine Best Value Wine Guide - which highlights the versatility of this winery which has wines to suite most taste preferences.

Van Loveren, which sells 81% of its wines on the domestic market, has had a good year with its products finding favour with professional tasters both locally and on the international front.

A few months ago the Retief family, consisting of brothers Nico and Wynand Retief, together with their respective sons, Bussell (winemaker), Hennie, Phillip and Neil, known collectively as the Four Cousins, walked off with the Wine of the Month Club's Winemaker of the Year title.

This was after five of their wines excelled in tastings to provide selections of wine for the 21 000 plus members of the direct marketing club.

At the recent 2004 International Vino Challenge in Atlanta, Georgia in the USA, the 2003 Van Loveren Gewurztraminer Special Late Harvest won the first runner-up to the best wine on show, Best Wine from the Southern Hemisphere and Best dessert wine on offer. Gold medals were also awarded to the 2003 Limited Release Chardonnay and the Papillon Brut sparkling wine.

Endorsement for Van Loveren at the Wine Magazine's Best Value Wine Guide came when five regular Wine Magazine tasters, four of whom are Cape Wine Masters, gave 11 of the 24 wines entered by the winery, a combined highest total.

To qualify for entry the wines had to possess an optimal ratio of quality rating to price point.

The price ceiling was set at R40 per bottle for the second year in a row and the panel took six days to evaluate more than 700 wines, of which a total of 260 were deemed worthy of inclusion in the 2005 edition of the guide.

This is an extremely competitive segment of the market, where many wineries in South Africa compete - providing good wines in all style categories.
Among the Van Loveren wines which garnered the most points, were more easy drinking white varietals and blends, through to dessert wines and more exclusive Limited Release wines.

The 2002 Van Loveren Limited Release Shiraz won a gold medal at the Michael Angelo Awards, while late last year the UK's Decanter magazine rated the 2003 Limited Release Chardonnay worthy of 4 stars and the 2002 Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon 3 stars.

Winemaker, Bussell Retief, said the following about the offerings from the farm; "We create large volumes of different styles of wine and our aim is not to shoot high one year and miss the next, but to provide wine lovers, who have come to know our wines over the years, with consistent, high quality wines.

"Having 220 hectares under vine in a valley with so many diverse, rich soils and variable terrains, we are able to cater for an equally wide spectrum of styles, including more sophisticated, yet always affordable wines," he said.

"National demand for Van Loveren wines has been on the increase over the past decade," said Phillip Retief, marketer for the winery.

"While we realise and accept that exports are important for growth, we have always believed the domestic market is our first priority.

"We are looking forward to the festive season - it is incredible how many regulars we see - many are annual visitors and others come back whenever they holiday in the Cape.

"In fact the entire Robertson region is gearing up and the general infrastructure which caters to the requirements of visitors to the valley is developing in leaps and bound.

"There are a greater number of restaurants and guesthouses opening in and around the towns in the vicinity, which reflects the popularity of this beautiful area.

"We are happy that we helped pioneer this concept in the valley, realising that people who visit us here take home not only a bottle of our wine, but a bag full of good memories.

"We hope that the passion we have for our wines are communicated not only through the quality of the product, but also through our commitment to service, both on the farm and the market in general," said Phillip.

Distributed by Kirkby Communications

For further information contact:

Phillip Retief at Van Loveren:
Tel 023 615 1505, or

Arnold Kirkby:
Tel 021 872 9747