International Organic Day

World Organic day22 September 2016 is International Organic Day and, as the only certified organic wine estate in the Elgin valley, we at Elgin Ridge Wines will celebrate with an exciting competition just for you!

To enter, all you need to do is visit our Tasting Room between 1 and 22 September 2016, enjoy a tasting of our certified organic wines and complete an entry form during your tasting. For a bonus entry, take a photo of your visit and share it with us on social media – and tag  @ElginRidgeWines and use #ElginRidgeWines as the hashtag!  By doing so, you’ll be entered into the draw to win an unforgettable organic Elgin experience worth over R4,000:
• Two night stay for two guests at the Elgin Ridge private homestead, overlooking our vineyards and the Elgin valley. Watch our Percheron horse, sheep and cows grazing in the fields and ducks swimming in the dam from your verandah!
• Lunch for two at the award-winning The Pool Room at Oak Valley, where Chef Gordon Manuel showcases the finest organic, farm-sourced produce on his seasonal menus
• A mixed case (6 bottles) of certified organic wines from Elgin Ridge
• Wine tasting for two at the Elgin Ridge Wines Tasting Room

Terms & Conditions
1. This competition is open to South African residents over 18 years of age.

2. The competition runs from 1-22 September 2016. Entrants must complete an entry form either at the Elgin Ridge tasting room or at an in-store tasting to be entered into the draw. 3. Entrants may receive one additional bonus entry per photo posted on social media.

4. The prize is valid until 31 March 2017.

Pesticides banned in French Town

Interesting article from The Telegraph.co.uk

A small town surrounded by farms has become the first in France to ban the use of pesticides within 50 metres of homes as fears grow that they may be to blame for a rise in cancers and other illnesses.

The ban was introduced in Saint-Jean, near the southern city of Toulouse, after a long campaign by a doctor and deputy mayor, Gérard Bapt.

Read the full article, here

Elgin Cool Wine & Country Festival

Facebook Cover Image 2016 Option 1

Join us at Elgin Ridge for Lunch of Elgin Free Range chicken casserole cooked by Marion, or warm root veggie salad, served with fresh bread, or rice, including a glass of Sauvignon Blanc for R 175.00

Booking is essential to secure your lunch. Please call 021 846 8060 or e-mail: info@elginridge.com

Sales of our certified organic Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc and our special 2011 vintage MCC, by the glass or bottle are also available with lunch.

EggAt the Tasting Room, tasting and sales of our organic wines and an opportunity to see our organic cellar and the newly installed Eggs used for our 2016 vintage, not to be confused with our chicken and ducks eggs !

Hopefully our chickens and ducks will have laid plenty of eggs and you can purchase our free range chicken and duck eggs.

Pesticides in Vineyards

An interesting article from Decanter, read the full article below

A potentially groundbreaking criminal investigation is set to be launched in France over claims that the death of a Bordeaux winemaker was caused by exposure to pesticides.

The first steps towards a criminal prosecution came after Valerie Murat filed legal action over the the death of her father, claiming ‘involuntary homicide’.

James-Bernard Murat, a winemaker in Pujols in the Entre deux Mers region of Bordeaux, died of lung cancer in 2012. He believed the disease was caused by his use of a pesticide to protect against vine trunk disease esca for more than 40 years.

Valerie Murat filed her case at the Tribunal de Grande Instance (High Court) in Paris, where a judge will hold an inquiry to assess culpability. A defendant has not been publicly named, described solely as ‘X’.

The case is more evidence that French officials are paying closer attention to the health effects of pesticide exposure among workers. The government recognised a link between pesticides and Parkinson’s disease in agricultural workers in 2012.

Murat sprayed three different pesticides containing the chemical sodium ar nite that is now banned as a cancer causing poison.

One year before his death, he won recognition that the cancer was officially ‘linked to his profession’, one of up to 40 winemakers in France who have received this.

Ms Murat said she wanted to ‘break the law of silence’ over the effects of pesticides.

France accounts for around of quarter of all pesticide use in Europe. Vineyards represent just 3% of agricultural land in France, but the wine industry accounts for 20% of phytosanitary product volumes, and 80% of fungicide use.

Paul François, president of the association Phyto-Victimes, said: ‘This is a step forward not just for the Murat family but for all those affected by the application of pesticides within their profession.’

There is a national plan to reduce pesticide use in French agriculture, called Ecophyto 2018.

Read more from Decanter

Biodynamic farming at Elgin Ridge

Cows contribute to our biodynamic farming in several ways; during winter they graze in the vineyards, thus keeping the weeds under control; and more importantly fertilising the soil with their manure, giving energy to the soil naturally.

Dexters at Biodynamic Elgin Ridge
Chad at 1 day old

Elgin Ridge has a growing heard of 70 Dexter cows; including 14 calves born at Elgin Ridge so far this year. Dexter are a natural miniature breed from Ireland.

We have planted 7 HA of pastures this year, and use a rotating grazing system with portable electric fencing; this way our cows graze in our nutrient-rich pastures ensuring they eat when they want, in the best pastures available, as mother nature intended.  We treat our cows kindly, allowing them to roam, and never over milk them. This leads to happy Dexters that produce beautiful marbled beef.

When our non breeding bulls are ready, we supply Andy Fenner at Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants, see ffmm.co.za with our Dexter beef for his selected customers.

Visit Elgin Ridge and see our special Dexter cattle

 

 

 

Natural Wine at Caroline’s Fine Wine

NATURAL WINE TASTING will be held at Caroline’s Fine Wines, Strand Street, Cape Town, on Wednesday, 21st January from 5pm to 8pm.  To find out more about natural wine, Click here for details.  There will be thirteen French wines – Domaine Foillard ( Beaujolais ), Morgon & Fleurie, Dom Breton Vouvray & Chinon, Thierry Germain Saumur Blanc et Rouge, Rene Moss Anjou ( Chenin ), Pierre Gerbais Champagne, Herve Souhaut ( Rhone ) Gamay & Syrah.

Organic farming for Natural Wine
Ploughing vineyard

Elgin Ridge is proud to be part of the Natural Wine Tasting, standing  by side with these great wines. We are the only certified organic farm in Elgin and farm using traditional methods.

Doug Wregg, will say a few words at 6pm. Doug is the sales and marketing director at Les Cave de Pyrene, a company specialising in artisan, organic, and biodynamic natural wines, in the UK.

Les Cave de Pyrene also own several natural wine bars in London. Doug is sometimes an outspoken advocate of the more natural approach to winemaking, and is co-founder and co-organiser of, The Real Wine Fair, London’s most prominent annual natural wine festival.  Doug writes regular blogs and columns for various food and wine magazines  in the UK, and is considered an expert, and leading proponent, in the Philosophy of making wines in the most natural and environmentally-sustainable way.

Tickets cost R250 per person, which can be booked directly by e-mailing Sasha on carowine@mweb.co.za or click here for a booking form. ( Booking essential and numbers strictly limited ). It’s a walk-around tasting, so you can arrive when you want, but last entry is at 6.30pm

Fiona Beckett – getting to know South Africa

Fiona Beckett’s weekly Guardian article features Elgin Ridge Wines

Fiona Beckett Elgin Ridge

Fiona writes

Fiona Beckett writes, Imagine for a moment describing all French wine as “French wine”.  It wouldn’t begin to give you a sense of the diversity of what the country has to offer, or where to go for the best example of a particular type – Burgundy for chardonnay and pinot noir, for instance. Yet there’s still a tendency to refer to wines from “new world” countries as South African, Argentinian and Chilean, as if there were no regional differences.

Granted, at the most basic level there aren’t – wines will be sourced from whatever fruit is available at a particular price point – but spend a bit more on a bottle and you will be rewarded by the best of what the country has to offer. In South Africa, for example, it pays to be aware of which regions do what well: Constantia, Darling and Elgin are the key areas for sauvignon blanc, Hemel-en-Aarde for chardonnay and pinot, Stellenbosch for attractively supple, bordeaux-style reds, and the Swartland – South Africa’s “wild west” – for syrah and chenin blanc.

Elgin is, I think, currently the most exciting or, as one winemaker put it, “the coolest area in South Africa, and not just climate-wise”. To begin with, its sauvignons seemed like a crude attempt to ape the New Zealand style, with too much asparagus and green pea character. Now, though, producers are more self-confident, letting grapes ripen longer and picking later to get more complexity. Wines such as the organic Elgin Ridge 282 sauvignon blanc (£12.50, at www.winedirect.co.uk £12.99, 14% abv), which I ordered recently in a restaurant, have real elegance and finesse, and cost no more than a supermarket sancerre.

The best-known name in the region is Paul Cluver, who also makes a good, if slightly less refined sauvignon blanc under the Ferricrete label (£11.99, Marks & Spencer; 13.5% abv) and, in the same range, a pretty, floral, off-dry riesling (£12.99, M&S; 10.5% abv) which works particularly well with Asian-style salads and noodle dishes. (Marks & Sparks also has Cluver’s luscious, late-harvest riesling at £14.99.)

I also discovered a gorgeously creamy, burgundy-style chardonnay, the Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay 2012(14% abv), which is made by an English-born master of wine, Richard Kershaw – it’s a bargain at £18.99 if you’re a Naked Wines “angel”, £31.99 to the rest of us. Unusually for Naked Wines, it is worth the full amount, but I do find the talk of “wholesale” prices misleading – check on wine-searcher.com, as the wine may be cheaper elsewhere.

Fiona Beckett

To read more of Fiona’s articles go to

http://gu.com/p/3zjf4/tf