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Meanwhile Back on the ranch…

 

Charles Back is regarded both locally and internationally as one of the most astute winegrowers in South Africa. The International Wine Challenge awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award and the International Wine and Spirits Competition the Wine Personality of the Year award.

Back on the ranch however, Charles is a farmer at heart and his passion in the soil. Not only does Charles choose good vineyards, but he chooses good people to work them too.  Nearly 20 years ago Charles bought his first vineyards in Darling, and over the years these have doubled to some 140 hectares of prime vineyard land and meticulously planted to 14 different varieties of grape.  These include 50 hectares Sauvignon Blanc, 10 hectares Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Grenache (used for Spice Route Rosé), Semillon used for the Qvevri Obscura and Riesling.

Mareo van Eck has been managing these vineyards for the last 20 years. A quiet and modest fellow, he is also a son of the earth and one of those people who although they know a lot, do not say a lot!

“My gunstelinge is Grenache Noir en Blanc, sowel as die Sangiovese en Chenin blanc – almal bosstokke, relatief min insette, hulle boer redelik maklik en ons kry goeie opbrengste van uitstaande gehalte.  In ag genome die veranderende klimaat toestande glo ek dat ons in die toekoms moontlik meer gaan fokus op kultivars soos Grenache Blanc wat relatief vroeg ryp raak en miskien ook Grenache Noir – korrekte diep grond voorbereiding, korrekte plant metode en gebruik van meer droogte weerstandbiedende onderstokke soos Ruggeri 140 sal deurslaggewend wees om te verseker dat stokke goed gebuffer gaan wees teen droer en warmer toestande en steeds lewensvatbare opbrengste lewer.”

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