Cross the Rubicon, and Never Turn Back

Because it is greater than that, true art is immune to the voice of the critic. Here South Africa has one red wine that transcends ratings, stars and the court of self-important opinion: Meerlust Rubicon.

Together with Vin de Constance, Rubicon is South Africa’s most valuable wine brand and if any sort of respect for national heritage still existed, both would deserve protected status. Their brows exceed the height of any new wave, they command a presence and gravitas sterner, more decisive than the noisiest hip alternative gaggle and its sycophantic hordes.

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Iconoclast: Tribute to a Real Icon

Mr Michael Sperling

People provenance leads me to wine. For as that old sage Duimpie Bayly, former production head of Stellenbosch Farmers Winery, likes to state: “I suppose they can say that wine is made in the vineyard. But I’ve never seen a horse win the Grand National without a jockey.”

For me, the minds, hands and hearts of people play as important  a role in a wine’s attractiveness as terroir, cellar skills and perfectly grown grapes.

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French Wine Investors Give Stellenbosch a Pink Valley

A new French-South Africa wine venture focussing exclusively on the making of classic rosé wines on the slopes of Stellenbosch’s renowned Helderberg wine region was launched this week with the first vintage of Pink Valley Rosé 2019. The Pink Valley property incorporates nine hectares of vines, the Pink Valley Restaurant and a winery, the only in South Africa built and used exclusively for the making of rosé wines.

Pink Valley is owned by Oddo Vins & Domaines, a French wine company belonging to father and daughter Pascal and Lorraine Oddo, with wine ventures in Provence and Sancerre (France), Rioja in Spain and in Sicily. In investing in Pink Valley, the Oddos partnered with their compatriot and wine investor Bertrand Otto, whose knowledge of the global wine industry and special love of the Cape winelands encouraged them to invest in South Africa.

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Pieter Ferreira: The Native Who Caused all the Bubble

I must have been about 11 or 12 when I knew that me and wine were going to have a tight relationship. The book I was reading was a James Bond, Gold Finger to be precise. And there Bond was, in white jacket and bow-tie, eating seafood with his famous nemesis, the evil Blofeld. And together with the sweet flesh of huge crabs, sauced with melted butter, Bond and Blofeld were drinking long, cold draughts of rosé Champagne – from iced pewter tankards.

It all sounded so deliciously decadent that I spent the rest of the book looking for bits about cold wine and food rather than my usual search for passages depicting illicit scenes of Special Agent James Bond in horizontal entanglement with a lithe beauty by name of Pussy Galore, Clitmarie Wishwell or Vulvatia Bonkstill.

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Taking Clay Makes the Wines Shine

The natural relationship between clay and wine extends beyond the water-retention abilities and agreeable pH levels that make clay soils conducive to viticulture. For close on 2 700 years clay has been used to make vessels for the fermentation and holding of wine. Since those first dubious drops of grape juice were poured into clay pots by the winemakers of ancient Greece, Georgia and Rome, the containers have hardly changed in shape and size. Amphorae, as they are known, are today not only eye-catching aesthetic complements to wineries the world over, but represent a modern vinous movement aimed at capturing the natural purity of fermenting and fermented wine.

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5 Ways to Bull-shit Your Way as a Wine Expert

One of the heavier burdens those in the wine industry have to bear, is the misperception that said individual has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all aspects vinous. It is simply assumed that those writing about or working in wine have a vastly superior frame of reference on the subject than the mere mortal who simply enjoys sipping the odd glass, instagramming irreverent wine labels or taking a selfie with some startled wine-maker found perusing the dog-food aisle at Spar.

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Newsflash: Best Young Sommelier Hails from Banana Country

Laurie Cooper, Best Young Sommelier.

Laurie Cooper has been crowned Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier 2019. At age 28, she is the winemaker and sommelier at Abingdon Wine Estate in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, the first family-owned estate to produce wines from the province. Together with her father, she runs all the viticulture and viniculture on the 4 hectare estate.

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Once Upon a Time at Stellenbosch Mafia HQ

It was time to go in, right to the heart of the Stellenbosch Mafia. Guy who wrote the book about them, Pieter du Toit, well he reckons the local mobsters hang out at a joint named De Volkskombuis, pretty hard to pronounce for two New York wiseguys like me and Frankie the Juice. But nothing a little google-translate ain’t sorting out. Volks the kombuis and go volks yourselves, too.

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