On the Same “Pages” with Schalk Burger

One of the most energetic wine-tasting experiences, for me, is a visit to Welbedacht in Wellington, home to one Schalk Burger and family, as well as a range of wines individual in style portraying an exciting uniqueness and true taste-of-place. And then, of course there is Schalk senior himself, one of the industry’s great conversationalists who also happens to have an exceptional knowledge of wine, geography, soil, botany and chemistry.

As Michael Caine would say, “Not a lot of people know that.”

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Drawing the Boerewors Curtain Reveals Fine Fare

The Gauteng propagandists constantly claiming the superiority of Johannesburg and Pretoria in wine -buying terms were dealt a bloody nose recently. A consumer survey commissioned by Caxton Media showed that the region with the highest per capita consumption of wine by value happens to be Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs. That is Durbanville, Bellville, Tygerberg and Parow, otherwise known as the Boerewors Curtain.

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Pinotages Deserving their Top Dollar

The one thing I dread about attending any formal wine industry discussion is that corny cliché of “South African wines are too cheap” and producers must therefore simply go ahead and raise their prices. Just like those who encourage the eradication of “boring commercial” grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon and propose replacing them with trendy Trousseau, Cinsault and Verdelho, the urge to raise price is usually made by folk without any real economic dependence on or general clue of the business side of the wine industry.

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The Lourensford Always Rises

When talk of Lourensford Wine Estate first started hitting the wine scene some 20 years ago, expectations were simply stratospheric. This is a magnificent old farm above Somerset-West, part of WA van der Stel’s spread going back to 1709. And if all the reports and hype were to be believed back then, Lourensford was going to be unlike anything the wine industry had ever seen.

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‘n Laaste Brief vir Spatz

Foto deur Samarie Smith

Ek het verlede jaar hierdie brief vir Spatz geskryf. Deur Stellenbosch Visio. Ek wonder of hy dit gelees het. Rus in Vrede, meneer Legende.

Beste mnr Sperling

Vir almal is jy Spatz, maar ongelukkig sukkel ek om jou met ’n mossiekuiken te vergelyk, soos wat jou Duitse bynaam beteken. Met jou kenmerkende breërand hoed, kruisbande, fors fisieke teenwoordigheid en permanente wye blink glimlag is die beeld van ’n kuiken van enige aard nou nie juis wat by my verskyn wanneer ek dink aan Michael Spatz Sperling nie. Miskien eerder ’n arend as ’n mossie – ’n wyse arend vol durf en versiendheid en grasie wat met die lugstrome teen die rotswande van Simonsberg sweef en afkyk op Delheim en sien hoe hierdie prins van wynplase nou lyk, en dan terugdink hoe dit was toe jy in 1951 hier aangekom het.

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Older Beauties Tasted at Amorim Re-corking

There’s been a lot of talk about the recorking of old South African wines currently being undertaken by Joaquim Sá of Amorim Cork, but for me the real revelation was the contents of those bottles. It was, indeed, rivetingly exciting watching Jean Vincent Ridon, a world-leader in cork-extraction, prying open the dust-covered antiquities with surgical-like precision and refined expertise.

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