Established in 2000, Raats Family Wines is a relatively new producer in Stellenbosch, although grapes are also sourced further afield, including Paarl and Paardeberg.
Bruwer Raats specialises in chenin blanc and cabernet franc, being one of the first to begin to realise this grape's potential in South Africa, and among the very first to bottle it as a single varietal. He now runs the company with his brother Jasper and cousin Gavin Bruwer, who has been in charge of winemaking and viticulture since 2009.
Raats is passionate about the environment too: ‘I have always been an advocate of sustainable farming and sincerely believe that whatever I do the soil should always be left in a far better condition than what it was when I found it… Although Raats Family Wines is certified as sustainable, it is even more important that everyone involved with the process focuses on making a unique and very special wine.’
The cabernet franc is grown on Dolomite gravel, giving the grapes acidity and freshness, and the vines are generally 18 to 25 years old. After fermentation in stainless-steel tanks, the wine spends around 18 months in French oak, a quarter of it new.
The family is one of the 15 original PIWOSA (Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa) members.