Namaqua Wines: A company in full bloom
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Namaqua Wines: A company in full bloom

The 2019 Namaqualand wildflower season has been described with suitably flowery words in the media of late. ‘Bloomin’ Brilliant’ a headline on the Eye Witness News website reads. ‘Namaqua National Park Expects Bumper Wildflower Season’ iAfrica says and ‘A Blooming Good Forecast’ is Indepenent Online’s assessment of the coming flower show, together with news that ‘spring has sprung early’ this year on the West Coast.

The reason for all the excitement is of course the good rains over the past few months. Although not the best rain season we’ve ever seen, it’s been a whole lot better than last year’s when the debilitating drought was at its worst. The result is more Vygies, Daisies and other flowers forming the yearly carpet of colour covering large parts of Namaqualand. Which is good news for the tourism industry – as well as the region’s wine producers.

A rich history

One such winemaker is the famous Namaqua Wines that has seen winter turn to spring since 1947. Although the relief will not be immediate (the 2019 harvest is expected to be even lower than 2018 due to the three-year drought) the future is looking bright with vineyards set to have recovered somewhat when the next harvest rolls around. 

Situated just outside Vredendal, Namaqua Wines has a rich history of producing world-class wines using the latest viticulture techniques and the local climate that sees a welcome ocean breeze push in from the Atlantic Ocean nearby to cool the grapes. The first recorded wine sale on the Namqua West Coast was recorded in the 18th century when a French explorer by the name of Francois le Vaillant.

Major wine producer 

Today, Namaqua wines produces 10% of South Africa’s total yearly wine volume and sells more than 35 million litres of wine world wide. The company’s name is synonymous with local wine enjoyment from so-called “kuierwyn” to more sophisticated brands like its heritage collection that features wines with names such as ‘West’ and ‘Spencer Bay’.

Giving back through sponsorship

Through sponsorship, Namaqua Wines have done tremendous work promoting Vredendal and its surrounds as a major attraction on the West Coast. This year it sponsored the Daisy Challenge MTB & Trail Run that took riders on all fitness levels into the veld on two wheels.
Of even more value is the company’s involvement annual rally to READ initiative, designed to support the Department of Education by enhancing the quality of language and literacy education in remote, rural schools. According to their website, “Our belief is that education creates hope and if we plant a seed of hope in children they will prosper and live their dreams.”

Currently surrounded by wildflowers in full bloom, Namaqua Wines is a company going from strength to strength ensuring the SA wine industry shows its true colours both locally and abroad. With its dedication to quality and true West Coast hospitality, it’s putting Vredendal firmly on the wine lover’s map.

Article by Hans Mackenzie
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