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About us
Our farm, brand and family:
The Dreyer Family bought the farm, Remhoogte south east of Hermanus in the Akkedisberg area in 1982. Piet Dreyer was doing commercial fishing at the time. They ran livestock and later planted citrus trees. Piet’s wife and children tended the farm in his absence. During 1999 the Dreyers planted 10 hectares Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. Since then a few hectares were added every year, and the 68 hectares on the farm at present, includes plantings of Pinotage, Sangiovese, Viognier, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot and also larger plantings of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc, making the farm self-sufficient as far as varieties needed for the different blends are concerned.

The farm is 17 kilometres from Stanford in a glen in the Kleinrivier Mountains, where the Klein River flows through. The Kleinrivier Mountains is the southernmost mountain range in Africa and its slopes provide a variety of aspects and soil types. The farm’s proximity to the sea ensures cooling breezes from Walker Bay in the afternoon while the South Easter blowing in from Agulhas on the Indian Ocean reduces the summer heat. The newly demarcated Klein River wine of origin ward is adjacent to the Walker Bay district and is cooler than the traditional wine growing areas of the Cape.

Our Name and Brands:
Piet Dreyer was a fisherman all his life. As a child, when he was about 16 years old, his father was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash and he helped his mother to support the family by catching fish over weekends and after school on a friend’s fishing boat. The sea and fishing remained his passion and he grew from ski-boat owner to freezer-vessel owner and the "kaalvoet (barefoot) skipper" on his vessel Raka became well known amongst the squid fisherman. Because of the squid squirting black ink all over the boat, Piet decided to have himself a black freezer vessel built, so that he need not repaint that often, and called it RAKA. (From the Afrikaans poem by N.P. van Wyk Louw, about an African tribe being threatened by Raka, half man half beast and as black as the night). He took this name as his brand when he ventured, with equal passion, into winemaking - hence the slogan: born of the sea, guided by the stars, blessed by the earth

Family involvement
Piet and Elna Dreyer are blessed with three sons and a daughter. Gerhard, the eldest, went into squid fishing after school, and is now shouldering a lot of his father’s responsibilities, leaving Piet free to realise his ambition of becoming a quality wine producer. Josef, the second son, obtained his B Agric degree from Elsenburg at the end of 2006 and he is now Raka’s winemaker. In addition he is responsible for accounting. Younger son Pieter, destined to become Raka’s viticulturist, is a student at Elsenburg, but has to fit in delivery and marketing between classes, and help out in the tasting room during holidays. Jorika, the Dreyer’s only daughter, recently matriculated from Overberg High School and can now give her full attention to managing the tasting room, a job she’s been doing part- time for the past four years. The whole family pitch in during harvest when every hand counts.

More on our wines & their names

Our top wines are:
•Biography Shiraz
•Petit Verdot
•Malbec
•Figurehead - (the figurine on the bowsprit of old sailing ships mostly a female or mermaid) a Cape Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Pinotage.
•Quinary - (meaning consisting out of five) Bordeaux style blend of
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Cabernet Sauvignon based, the composition may vary slightly from vintage to vintage as we always strife to make the best possible blend.
•Barrel Select Merlot - Single variety Merlot blended from a selection of the best barrels of the vintage.

Mid-range:
•Pinotage
•Sagiovese
•Sauvignon blanc
•Shannonea –white blend named after indigenous heath Erica Shannonea
•Rose –popular blend of variety of red grapes (dry)
•Spliced - meaning a mend used by fishers and sailors to mend their ropes. It involves undoing the strands of rope and intertwining them to form a sturdy mend. This wine varies in composition from vintage to vintage, depending on the availability of cultivars. It is a more easy -drinking wine and oaked for 12 months

The Winemaker
Finally a Dreyer as winemaker!
Josef is the Dreyer’s second son. He was keenly interested and whole-heartedly involved in the planning of the cellar, the planting of the grapes and the first five harvests, regularly relieving the night staff over weekends, and commuting daily between the school and farm at harvest time so that he could be in on the action. He studied viticulture and winemaking at Elsenburg College, obtaining his B.Agric degree in 2006. He took charge of winemaking at Raka from the 2007 harvest.
 
Terroir
The farm is situated in a narrow valley in the Kleinriver Mountains, southernmost mountain range in Africa. The vineyards are planted on either side of the Klein River that flows through the valley on its way to the Atlantic Ocean in Walkerbay. This means that there are both north and south facing slopes under vines and even some vineyards facing to the west. The altitude varies between about 58m above sea level for the vineyards planted next to the river to 120m for the vineyards lying on the higher slopes. The soil types are equally diverse. The highest slopes consist of decomposed sandstone and Cartref soils of sandstone origin are found. On these soils Sauvignon Blanc and some Shiraz were planted. The reds are mostly planted on schale of the Glenrosa type; some deep and rich, while other areas contains rock, and elsewhere patches of Oakleaf occur. There are also some sandy soils along the riverbanks –these are good for Viognier and Sauvignon blanc. Vines and rootstock were chosen to suit the soil type. The prevailing winds are the southeaster blowing in from the Indian Ocean (Agulhas area) during summer and the rain-carrying north westerly in winter. The proximity to the sea ensures a cooling westerly sea breeze from Walker Bay in the afternoon. The farm is sheltered by the mountains from the south easterly rains which sometimes comes untimely to the Overberg during summer.
Tel: +27.283410676   Fax: +27.866065462   Email: info@rakawine.co.za  
P.O. Box 124 , Caledon, 7230, South Africa