Farmer, Brian Angus from Woodview farm in the Free State province of South Africa started exploring the opportunities of this unique breed of cattle in the 1990’s. He was on an Angus conference tour in the USA when he first heard of these unique Wagyu cattle.
His fascination with this imperial breed of cattle was born. At this point no other farmer in Africa had any Wagyu genetics and Brian started by importing genetics from the Japanese breeder himself, Shogo Takeda. Being the first Wagyu breeder in South Africa came with its own challenges and trial and error. Today Brian is the leading Wagyu breeder with world class genetics that has been selected and bred into the Woodview herd. Over his many years he has become known South Africa’s “Wagyu godfather”.
Not all Wagyu is created equal and it is Brian’s keen sense of precision cattle breeding that has made Woodview Wagyu genetics world class. Only the best genetics and superior stock has ensured that only top-quality and well marbled Wagyu cattle qualify as Woodview Wagyu.
In 2016 the Angus family from Woodview joined forces with the Van Reenen family from Sparta Beef – world-class beef producers with a proud heritage of more than 50 years. Thanks to this collaboration the Woodview Wagyu brand now not only benefits from Brian’s superior breeding skills, but also from Sparta’s expertise in feeding cattle to their optimum potential, resulting in the unique gastronomic experience of premium quality Wagyu beef.
Continuing the Woodview tradition, we focus on quality rather than quantity and the Woodview Wagyu calves are treated in the most humane way possible while being raised on our farms. Our free-range Wagyu cattle are pasture-reared and grain-fed and receive no unnatural additives or antibiotics. Sparta runs a vertically integrated operation and Woodview Wagyu cattle are slaughtered at our own world-class facility, which means full traceability and quality control throughout the life cycle of each animal.
What is Wagyu Beef?
Wagyu cattle have been bred for hundreds of years and are regarded as a national treasure in Japan. In fact, for many years only the Emperor, his family and his Samurai could eat Wagyu beef.
‘Wagyu’ refers to all Japanese beef cattle, where ‘Wa’ means Japanese and ‘gyu’ means cow. In most countries outside of Japan, Wagyu can refer to any of the four Japanese beef breeds (Shorthorn, Black, Poll and Brown) that have either been crossbred with other cattle breeds at varying degrees, or are purebred Wagyu cattle.
This famous breed is best known for its ability to marble. Marbling is the fine, web-like intramuscular fat found in premium quality beef, and no other breed has a genetic disposition to marbling quite like Wagyu. Unlike any other breed, Wagyu fat melts at room temperature and not only when exposed to cooking heat.
Wagyu Beef Is Healthier, Naturally. Research shows that the beef from long-fed Wagyu cattle naturally contains more Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, as well as more monounsaturated fatty acids (the good fat) than other beef. The percentage of fatty acids affect the texture and ‘feel’ of food in the mouth, particularly in meats. This is one of the genetic benefits of the Wagyu breed and one of the reasons why Wagyu beef is regarded as the finest, most exclusive beef produced in the world. [imperialwagyu.com]
What is Kobe Beef?
Kobe beef is often mentioned in the same breath as Wagyu. Wagyu refers to cattle bearing the specific genetics of Japanese cattle, i.e. cattle bred in Japan or Japanese-style cattle. Kobe beef comes from Tajima-Gyu, a cow classified as a Japanese Black breed which is raised under strictly controlled conditions in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture (the capital of which is Kobe, thus the name). All Wagyu is not Kobe, but all Kobe is Wagyu.
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