Good news for environmentally conscious wine-lovers is that South Africa’s Rhino Run Wines are now 100% organic. The change applies across the full, nature-friendly range produced by Van Loveren Vineyards and comes into effect from this year’s vintage.
Organic farming principles demand the reduced chemical usage on grapes and in the vineyards and lead to amongst others lower sulphur in wine. The result is generally healthier soils and a return of natural biodiversity.
“Making the change to organic brings Rhino Run in line with its environmental goals,” says Van Loveren Family Vineyards MD Phillip Retief.
The range was established in 2013 and is inspired by Dr Ian Player, founder of the Player Ntombela Foundation and the conservationist who dedicated his life and career since the 1960’s to lead the efforts to save the rhinoceros. Successful conservation efforts brought both Black and White Rhino species back from the brink of extinction, but a dramatic upswing in poaching since 2008 re-ignited their fight for survival.
Rhino Run was conceived to create awareness of this crisis. A portion of every purchase of Rhino Run Wine is donated to conservation and anti-poaching initiatives.
Now, Rhino Run expands its view to restoring environmental health while continuing to produce exceptional and elegant wines.
Organic wine is wine made from grapes grown in accordance with principles of organic farming, which typically excludes the use of artificial chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides.
The major point of difference is the reaction to outbreaks of disease and pests. With traditional chemical farming, a list of registered approved products is available to salvage the situation, whereas organic certifications forbid the use of any chemical pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. Therefore, the organic producer must consider the fundamental causes and address these.
There are five wines in the Rhino Run organic range, which comprises two white wines, a red blend and two single variety reds.
Rhino Run Sauvignon Blanc
This wine has a fragrant tropical style with attractive gooseberry and green fig character that lingers elegantly on the palate. Enjoy chilled with seared tuna, chicken, smoked salmon, creamy pasta dishes, seafood risotto, oysters or white meats.
Rhino Run Chenin Blanc
This medium bodied Chenin Blanc was created to honour the White Rhino. The wine has aromas of ripe peaches with fragrant floral notes that linger gently on the palate. Enjoy with herbed mussels, grilled chicken or pork, fresh seafood, creative salads and sushi.
Rhino Run Ian Player
This wine has rich almond, plum and mint on the nose, followed by ripe berry, cassis and redcurrant on the palate. Good oaking ensures a soft toasty finish. A classic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with minimal intervention in the natural process following each cultivar to express its unique characteristics.
Rhino Run Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a deep garnet-coloured wine with ripe berries, cassis and redcurrants on the palate. Judicious oak maturation lends a soft, toasty finish. Enjoy with rich meat dishes, hearty casseroles, pork, venison and flavoured cheeses.
Rhino Run Pinotage
This uniquely South African variety lends an attractive purple red colour to the wine, which has a complex nose of ripe banana, cassis and strawberry followed by layers of fruit, vanilla and spice on the lingering palate. Enjoy with hearty stews, rich red meat dishes, spicy foods, curries and smoked meats.
The wines are being made available through a variety of small and large retailers, as well as restaurants, and are priced from around R80.
For more information or to make a direct contribution to conservation initiatives, visit www.rhinorunwine.co.za; send email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or, call 023 615 1505.