We first met Schalk Burger Senior in 2009 from an introduction by Allan Lamb the Test cricketer. As the owner of the Welbedacht Wine Estate we soon realised that here was the ultimate connection between Sport and Wine. A partnership was born and Schalk’s extensive sporting wine portfolio forms the heart of our company.
Welbedacht Wine Estate | Wellington, South Africa | Rugby
The spectacular Welbedacht Estate lies 40 minutes north of Cape Town. Some of the oldest soil in Africa, made up of decomposed granite, provides ideal conditions for quality vines. Schalk cultivates 18 different grape varieties. Each of his wines tells a story. The entry-level Meerkat range is South Africa’s most gregarious wine and unbeatable value. Among his award-winning red blends can be found the Hat Trick, Cricket Pitch, Bohemian Syrah, the Patriot, and his exceptional No 6, named after the shirt both Schalk Snr and Jnr wore for their country.
Schalk Burger Sr was a formidable South Africa flanker from the 1980’s, whose son Schalk Jnr won the Rugby World Cup with the Springboks in 2007. To complement the family’s formidable rugby pedigree, Schalk hosts many charity cricket matches at his Welbedacht Oval and we are now stocking his Cricket Pitch – made from the vines grown alongside the boundary – at the Kia Oval in London, completing the sporting circle. Schalk and his sons were among our first suppliers and we are so grateful to him, Schalk Jnr, Tiaan and the whole Burger family for their support in helping us build the idea of the Sporting Wine Club. They embody the spirit of the club and have been incredibly generous and patient friends!
Schalk Burger is our original sporting winemaker. He played rugby for South Africa in the 80’s as did his World Cup winning son Schalk many years later. The third rugby player in the family, Tiaan, is instrumental in the winemaking and running of Welbedacht Estate as is the rest of the Burger family.
We approached him last year on behalf of MyName5Doddie Foundation to make a red wine to support Doddie Weir’s fight against Moto Neuron disease and the Doddie’5 was born (5 grape varieties and £5 per bottle to the charity matching the number of his playing shirt). We have raised significant funds through this project in addition to the supply of an excellent Bordeaux Blend into the market.
Now we have great delight to introduce The 1861 into the market, a classic Bordeaux also made by Schalk for Richmond Rugby Club in the name of Richmond Heavies, which will raise funds for medical services at the club in particular to help in managing sudden Cardiac arrest.
In summary, sport, wine and charity are at the centre of how we operate as a club and all three are represented in these two projects. We hope you enjoy the wine.
The Winemaker Says:
My family and I are proud to have supported the Sporting Wine Club from its conception. They represent the values which we hold dear, combining a love of wine and sport together with friendship. We look forward to helping the Sporting Wine Club develop over the years on their exciting adventure and making many more new friends.