From Bush to Box
Rooibos is endemic to a very small part of the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Its beating heart is located in Wupperthal in the Cederberg Mountain Range, where our story begins. It was on this 36,000 hectare landscape that rooibos was first farmed more than 200 years ago.
The unique taste and aroma of Wupperthal Rooibos 1830 is no coincidence. On compact farms at altitudes exceeding 900m above sea level, Wupperthal Rooibos is planted and tended by farmers who brave the remote and harsh mountainous terrain to bring this special product to market.
Rooibos seeds are treated and planted at nurseries to grow seedlings. When between 10 and 15cm tall, seedlings are planted out during the rainy season to improve their chances of survival.
Plants are mostly dormant during winter and grow during the warmer months. Plants are ready for harvesting after 18 months.
Plants have a seven-year life cycle and farmers rotate crops to rehabilitate the soil at the end of a life cycle.
It is back-breaking work. Once a year, during the harsh summer months when temperatures rise to well in excess of 40 degrees Celcius, workers harvest the plants using sickles as their ancestors have been doing for more than seven generations. Then they carry rooibos rolled in hessian bags down mountains to waiting tractors.
Wupperthal farmers rise early in the morning to walk to remote rooibos fields since much of the terrain is inaccessible even to 4×4 vehicles, and often only reached by tractor.
The wet, green rooibos is weighed in Wupperthal before being transported to the village of Nieuwoudtville in the Northern Cape Province.
In Nieuwoudtville, at the world-class Nieuwoudtville Rooibos (Pty) Ltd processing facility, Wupperthal Rooibos is cut, dried, pasteurised and packaged.
Wupperthal Rooibos 1830 matures for up to 12 months after drying to further enhance the taste and aroma profile before being packaged.
Only the finest cuts are used in our luxurious pyramid-shaped bags. These are packed into individual boxes and cartons constructed by hand and fulfilled with pride by the employees of Nieuwoudtville Rooibos.