Piet Dreyer was a fisherman all his life. As a child, when he was about 16 years old, his father was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash and he helped his mother to support the family by catching fish over weekends and after school on a friend’s fishing boat. The sea and fishing remained his passion and he grew from ski-boat owner to freezer-vessel owner and the “kaalvoet (barefoot) skipper” on his vessel Raka became well known amongst the squid fisherman.
Because of the squid squirting black ink all over the boat, Piet decided to have himself a black freezer vessel built, so that he need not repaint that often, and called it RAKA. (From the Afrikaans poem by N.P. van Wyk Louw, about an African tribe being threatened by Raka, half man half beast and as black as the night). He took this name as his brand when he ventured, with equal passion, into winemaking – hence the slogan: born of the sea, guided by the stars, blessed by the earth.
The vineyards are planted on either side of the Klein River that flows through the valley on its way to the Atlantic Ocean in Walkerbay. This means that there are both north and south facing slopes under vines and even some vineyards facing to the west. The altitude varies between about 58m above sea level for the vineyards planted next to the river to 120m for the vineyards lying on the higher slopes. The soil types are equally diverse. The highest slopes consist of decomposed sandstone and Cartref soils of sandstone origin are found. On these soils Sauvignon Blanc and some Shiraz were planted. The reds are mostly planted on schale of the Glenrosa type; some deep and rich, while other areas contains rock, and elsewhere patches of Oakleaf occur. There are also some sandy soils along the riverbanks – these are good for Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc. Vines and rootstock were selected to suit the soil type. The prevailing winds are the southeaster blowing in from the Indian Ocean (Agulhas area) during summer and the rain-carrying north westerly in winter. The proximity to the sea ensures a cooling westerly sea breeze from Walker Bay in the afternoon. The farm is sheltered by the mountains from the south easterly rains which sometimes comes untimely to the Overberg during summer.