Our Story

The Elgin Organics story begins one morning in the Spring of 2000, when Mike Prevost woke to an eerie silence blanketing the Elgin Valley.

He listened intently as the dawn light grew, and soon realised what was missing: the usual clamour and racket of birdsong.

As a farmer who harboured a deep love and respect for the natural world, Mike became concerned about the harmful effects of chemical pesticides on birds, insects, and other unlucky creatures caught in the crossfire.

Indeed, the toxic pesticides and insecticides used in the notoriously aggressive spray programmes of commercial fruit farming exact a heavy toll on local ecosystems, poisoning insects and reptiles and driving away birdlife. 

Gay Prevost

Mike and his wife, Gay, were spurred to transition their 50 ha farm, Lorraine, to organic farming methods, becoming one of the small handful of deciduous farmers who pioneered the organic movement in the early 2000s. With the help of a large flock of ducks to control the snail population and bat houses to attract insectivores, Lorraine became the only certified organic apple farm in South Africa.

In 2004, they bottled their first batch of raw apple cider vinegar, and Elgin Organics was born. Hand-crafted and barrel-fermented in recycled oak wine barrels, Mike’s organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar quickly gained a reputation as the best-tasting locally made apple cider vinegar on the market.

Lorraine Farm

After 14 happy years of organic farming, Mike and Gay made the difficult decision to sell Lorraine. Unfortunately, the new owners soon switched the farm back to conventional farming methods.

Due to the prohibitively expensive costs associated with gaining international organic certification in South Africa, there are now very few certified organic apple farms in the country. There are, however, farmers in the Elgin Valley who farm according to organic principles, without official certification. Today, Elgin Organics apple cider vinegar is made with apples sourced from these orchards.

Mike very sadly passed away in 2021. Fortunately, not all of his secrets in the production of his well-loved apple cider vinegar have been lost. He passed his method, vision, and passion onto his son, Mark, who along with his wife Catherine, continue to produce Elgin’s iconic apple cider vinegar with love and integrity.