Death with Sheep and Chardonnay

When my hero died, I hit the freezer seeking a bag of dead sheep stomach. Jim Harrison, the last of the great red-blooded male American writers, passed over Easter. And with Jim having been a bit of a gourmand, I decided to make a big pot of something meaty, hearty and comforting, something the great man would have approved of. Remember, this is the guy who once wrote: “Men were not born to eat small portions.”

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Between a Rock and a Chablis Place

I am having a slight disagreement with Danie de Wet about limestone, that integral soil component needed for the growing of great Chardonnay grapes. And the debate’s gist involves creepy-crawlies and seashells.

Robertson, home to Danie and De Wetshof, also has the highest limestone content of any South African wine-producing region. Like Burgundy and Champagne has shown, Chardonnay comes to the fore in chalky lands. It has to do with pH and balance in the wines; structure and verve and longevity.

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I FRAM, therefore I am

Thinus Krüger might be one of South Africa’s wine rock-stars. But he still has my DVD of the Martin Scorsese classic The Last Waltz, which I loaned him about five years ago, not able to stomach the thought of any young music aficionado being oblivious of the existence of the mother of all rock films.

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Go Cru the Chardonnay Crew

Public Holiday Nation, this has been South Africa over the past few weeks. Good Friday. Bad Friday. Workers Day. Freedom Day. Election. I am just waiting for a public holiday honouring the date on which Simon van der Stel stopped beating his first slave on 7 September 1689 after said slave, Pielkopius Witman, discovered how to make the original Vin de Constance.

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Robertson the Top Terroir Wine Region in South Africa

 

A well-known South African wine region getting its butt kicked.
A well-known South African wine region getting its butt kicked.

Stellenbosch, the Swartland and Hemel-en-Aarde lost out as the Breederivier wine region kicked some serious butt in the world’s leading region-focussed wine competition. The passionate, terroir-driven producers in the Robertson district made an indelible mark at the 2013 Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards, with two wines in the selected SA Terroir Top 5 Estate Wines as well as five National Winners from all submissions.

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