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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Cape Wine 2012 in a Rush


Uma Thurman shows that a Merlot tasting can get messy.

The Bride had just sliced the head off her second masked Yakuza gangster when it hit me: what had really just happened over the past few days? Here I was, sprawled on the futon watching Kill Bill Volume 1, lulled by a warm comatose feeling of exhaustion and satisfied post-hectic workweek euphoria.

What a week, I thought looking at the screen as The Bride, aka Uma Thurman, drove a nail through the head of a Japanese schoolgirl.

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Spirit of Independence in Wellington


Beautiful Wellington.

To quote my late English teacher, Mister Struthers-Boshoff, “you is what you is, not what’s you thinks you are”. The folk of Wellington in the Western Cape might speak better English – these days – but the fact remains the same: Wellington has long deserved independence as a wine region from neighbour Paarl, to which it was linked via ward status until this year. Because the region knows what it is and knows it can stand on its own two legs.

Although Wellington’s push for independence – carefully actioned by the delicate force of former Springbok rugby player Schalk Burger – may have been egged-on by the general confusion and regional inactivity of Wine of Origin Paarl. As a united regional entity, Paarl is fast becoming about as relevant as a rare foie gras at a vegetarien love-in.

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