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Their Story, as told by them
The Winery of Good Hope is more than just a winery. It’s an approach. An alternative way of thinking, being and doing. Yes, you will find us in the prestigious wine-making region of Stellenbosch, in South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope. But we aren’t like other wine producers. Why? Because we’re not into all the flashy stuff that’s often associated with our industry. We want to make quality wine with a conscience. At our cellar on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, we make great wines using traditional, natural viticultural and winemaking methods. We’re also fully accredited for environmental, ethical, and social-upliftment practices. That’s why we called ourselves The Winery of Good Hope.
The Team in the vineyard
Good Hope is more than just the name of a location at the bottom of Africa. It’s a spirit of optimism. A “can-do” attitude. A positive intention that leads to positive action.
The fact that the pioneering settlers of 1652 named their new land The Cape of Good Hope is proof of their faith in this area’s potential. Wine grapes were among the first crops to be grown there, starting in 1655. The very first Cape wine flowed in 1659 – about 150 years before settlers even arrived in Australia for the first time!
Today, this land – and this industry – still holds so much untapped potential. When we set out to explore it, we soon realised that we needed a place to showcase new ideas in our evolving portfolio of wines. And that’s precisely why we created this range. Its wines are the results of our extensive trials and research into exciting new varieties, new vineyard areas, new meso-climates and altitudes, alternative winemaking techniques and even the use of more modern packaging.
The Winery of Good Hope range receives the same focus and standards as our more premium wines. Visitors to our vineyards, for example, are often surprised to see a Radford Dale parcel of vines next to a Winery of Good Hope parcel. With many so-called entry-level wines, the fruit (or bulk wine) is sourced from cheaper, mass-production areas, then it’s trucked in and either used to stretch and cheapen existing wines, or bottled as is and churned out on the cheap.
But we see it differently: our entry-level wines are our calling cards. They represent everything we produce, so they need to be wines that make us proud. Wines that set the bar high from the outset. If our “house wines” are anything short of excellent, then we consider ourselves nothing short of incompetent. They are made for everyday drinking, but for people who (like us) enjoy and expect quality, every day. We work with many restaurants around the world, and many of them use our Good Hope wines as “house pours” or wines by the glass. They aren’t the cheapest options from South Africa, but they’re always of a very high standard and always offer really excellent value.
So how do we keep the price down?
With so much experience and emphasis on grape quality, we know just how to reduce the price without reducing quality. The secret: reducing production costs. We generally don’t use new barrels, for example, and we use less expensive packaging. We also release the wines younger and minimise financing costs, allowing us to cut the cost of everything – except the fruit itself. And the result? We are able to offer higher-quality, more individual, site-driven wines in a sector increasingly dominated by formulaic, industrial winemaking and unexciting, often bland mass-wines.
What do people think?
Our Winery of Good Hope Chenin Blanc was rated sixth in the international top 100 BEST BUYS of the year, in USA publication The Wine Enthusiast in 2006. We were the first and only South African producer in the top 10, with a score of 91 points. In December 2007, the following vintage of the same wine came 8th in the same annual feature. Again, it was the only South African wine in the top 10, with only one other SA producer featuring in the top 40. Every year since then, we’ve received many quality and value distinctions, high ratings, Best Buys and other accolades. In November 2013, Robert Parker gave our Chenin 90 points
Every wine in this range does two things:
1. It reflects the optimism and hope of our region and our winery.
2. It provides first-rate quality and value, every time.
This makes these wines both affordable and drinkable, without sacrificing any notion of quality or individuality. In a region like ours, with our soils, our skills and our climate, we have no excuse not to be optimistic – just as we have no excuse not to provide good value, good quality and good hope. And, while we’re at it, good fun.