Years ago I had the honour to work with Bruwer Raats at a winery in Stellenbosch. Today he is one of South Africa’s most successful wine producers and a true ambassador for our wines. His international success has not gone to his head and he is still the down to earth, fun-loving man he was back then.
Raats Family Wines is a boutique winery located in the Polkadraai Hills outside Stellenbosch. Owner and winemaker Bruwer is considered a specialist in the crafting of exceptional and truly distinct wines from Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc from older vineyards.
For the past ten years, Raats has dedicated himself to consistently produce Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc of outstanding quality and to establish these wines as international benchmarks.
Raats Family Wines have already earned a stellar reputation internationally as a New World leader in the production of these varietals and regularly receive positive write-ups by esteemed wine reviewers such as Olly Smith, Matthew Jukes, Tim Atkin, James Molesworth and Jancis Robinson in definitive publications such as Decanter, Wine Spectator, The Observer, Daily Mail and New York Times.
A Cabernet Franc by Bruwer has recently featured on the wine list of a top New York restaurant in honour of late president Nelson Mandela.
Marcus Samuelsson’s iconic Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem has become renowned for its impressive wine list designed to complement his New American Cuisine, which has contributed to making Samuelsson one of the most celebrated chefs of his generation. Ethiopian-born Samuelsson has earned three stars in The New York Times and he also prepared the meal for the first State Dinner of the Obama administration.
As America celebrated Black History Month, special tributes were hosted to commemorate the life and legacy of Madiba and several South African red wines graced the Red Rooster wine list, including the signature Raats Family Cabernet Franc. This inclusion caught the attention of the wine e-journal Daily Sip on wine community website bottlenotes.com in an article titled “A Wine List Worthy of a Harlem Renaissance.”
“It was definitely a huge honour to be included on the Red Rooster’s wine list as this restaurant has become renowned for cuisine that is a highly personal expression of the ethnic and cultural influences in the life of the owner,” mentions Raats.
“For my wine to be included as part of his tribute to our own Madiba is indeed very special and I consider it as part of my tribute to this great African hero.
“The fact that it was included on the bottlenotes website’s daily blog is great as the Daily Sip has over 300000 subscribers and 180000 Facebook followers. This is incredible exposure for my wine amongst an enthusiastic community of wine lovers,” adds Raats.
* For more information, visit www.raats.co.za.