This quaint and historical estate is dedicated to celebrating Mother Nature with handcrafted, organic wines
Located at the southern tip of South Africa in the Paarl Valley of the Cape of Good Hope, Crastino Wines is a boutique, family-run cellar crafting organically-farmed wines from the Grieve family’s estate vineyards at Ronwe Farm. The beautiful Ronwe Farm Homestead dates back to 1814, and the small wine cellar to 1813, with influence of Victorian and Cape Dutch architecture. This quaint and historical estate is dedicated to celebrating Mother Nature, honoring the women of the Grieve family, and farming for tomorrow. In fact, Crastino means tomorrow.
The Grieve family has a legacy of strong, successful, nurturing and caring women and currently there are four generations seated around the family dining room table. The matriarch, Ginny Grieve, has a passion for growing and nurturing the vines, gardens and plant life of the Ronwe Farm and she believes that both food and wine are essential at the family dinner table. When the Grieves moved to the Ronwe Farm in Paarl Valley in 1996, it was Ginny who initiated the making of handcrafted wines from the small organic vineyard and she has built the Crastino Wines brand into what it is today.
At Crastino Wines, it is believed that the best wines are made by working in harmony with Mother Nature, allowing her to weave her magic and leave her distinct imprint on each vintage. It is for this reason that Crastino wines are crafted to have a unique sense of place and they are true and authentic to their roots. By adopting a nurturing and organic approach in the vineyard, with minimum intervention in the cellar, each vintage is an expression of the Grieve family’s beautiful Paarl Valley estate.
The Crastino wine label portrays an icon which shows not only the strength of Mother Nature, but the femininity, the elegance, the care, and the importance of ‘farming for tomorrow.’ In the image, she guides the life from preexisting seeds in the soil to a strong and stable vine, able to craft wines with the perfect balance of strength and finesse.
We are proud to share the Crastino wines with our International Wine Club members. Enjoy!
South Africa's Wine History
While the South African wine industry’s origins can be traced back more than 350 years to the early efforts of the Dutch East India Company, it is only thirty years that the present South African wine industry can count as being absolutely productive and competitive in the eyes of the world.
Wine production in South Africa began with the landing of Dutch settlers in 1652, with the first vines planted three years later by its then-Governor, Jan Van Riebeck, in Constantia (located at the continent’s tip between the South Atlantic Ocean and False Bay to the East). At the time, wine was thought to ward off scurvy for traveling sailors and this new settlement became a popular point for traders between Europe and India - it would also lead to a flourishing wine industry.
However, there were many setbacks for the South African wine industry. The lack of regulations on wine quality led to an oversupply of fruit, plus the country was met with the same fate as France and other wine producing regions when it was nearly wiped out by phylloxera in the late 1800’s. Finally, with the start of Apartheid in 1948, South Africa’s wines were essentially cut off from the rest of the world.
When South Africa’s Apartheid finally ended in 1991, the South African wine industry was again afforded the opportunity of competing on the world’s wine stage. This is not to say that many great wines weren’t made in the country during Apartheid, especially following the 1973 establishment of the ‘Wine of Origin’ classification system, but international sanctions and negative world press played an important role in relegating the country’s wine well below its true quality levels.
Since South Africa’s excellent portfolio of wines had been practically unavailable internationally for decades, their reemergence on world markets spurred interest around the world, and over the past thirty years, a high number of South African wines have vaulted into the top echelons of international wine prestige. Along with this renewed interest came a boom in new wine industry enterprise. Numerous small wineries and farms (vineyards) began sprouting up and the South African wine industry’s production soared as well. As in many other countries, enterprising young South Africans made investments in land and equipment that further enhanced their country’s wine exploits.
Today, South Africa ranks alongside other countries that are considered top quality producing locales, and its wines are consistently graded at high levels in international competitions. When considering the relatively short time period of thirty years, this accomplishment borders along the lines of remarkable and the future continues to be extremely bright.
Paarl Valley, South Africa
South Africa’s vineyards are mostly situated in the Western Cape near the coast. Here, the winegrowing regions are influenced by one of the two mighty oceans that meet at this southernmost tip of Africa - the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. The maritime influences of regular coastal fog and cooling sea breezes, along with a moderate Mediterranean climate, distinctive and varied topography, and diverse soils makes for an ideal setting to produce wines of unique character and complexity.
Crastino Wines is situated in Paarl Valley, one of the oldest wine growing regions within the Cape Winelands (‘Cape of Good Hope’ is the original name for the area surrounding Cape Town, thus why it is mentioned on the wine label). The town of Paarl itself is the third oldest European settlement in South Africa and the region has played a major role in the country’s 20th Century history. Paarl Valley is also one of South Africa’s most famous wine producing areas, renowned for its beautiful, scenic landscape and rich, full-bodied, spicy red and crisp white wines.
South Africa: Fun Facts!
• Table Mountain in Cape Town is believed to be one of the oldest mountains in the world and one of the planet’s 12 main energy centers, radiating magnetic, electric or spiritual energy.
• South Africa is extremely rich in mining/minerals and is considered the world’s leader with nearly 90% of all the Platinum metals on Earth and around 41% of the world’s Gold.
• South Africa’s wildlife is legendary, including the famous ‘Big Five’ - lions, leopards, rhinos, buffalo and elephants, plus an exceptionally diverse mix of species. On a safari here, you can expect to see elephants, lions, buffalo, hippos, giraffes, zebras, hyenas, wildebeests, warthogs, baboons and antelope.