The last time I was so inspired to fight for a cause was back in 2015 when those demented camel-jockeys by name of ISIS blew up the 1 800-year-old Temple of Baalshamin in the Syrian city of Palmyra. This onslaught on world culture in the name of what-the-hell-ever, had me wanting to form an army. Hop to Syria to bang some ISIS heads together and tell them not to mess with civilisation.
Edgebaston Wines in Stellenbosch has rebranded its award-winning wine range, which will now be fronted by the name of its owner and head-winemaker David Finlayson. Edgebaston, situated on the lower slopes of Stellenbosch’s Simonsberg, remains the home of this wine brand where the range of mostly single varietal wines are made, as well as where a significant portion of its vineyards are situated. The labels, however, will from now on reflect the name of David Finlayson, who introduced his own range of wines at Edgebaston from the 2004 vintage.
We wine-lovers have in this stage of temporary prohibition probably built-up a stash of wine that should get us through it all. But what about beer? I’ll bet my bottom dollar that plenty of folks are scratching around for a cold one, even making use of those black-market items offered through illegal, yet entrepreneurial channels. Wait, though! Check out the non-alcohol beer sold legally, will ya’?
With an unbridled commitment to the rights of the consumer and in pursuit of informative journalism with which to enrich the reader ‘s mind, we went to try-out a few alcohol-free beers on the local market:
OK, we’ve got it. Or should have. The South African wine industry will never be the same again. Well, whatever is left of it after Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa and his Covid Command Council have finished with us. The authorities will, possibly together with the local liquor bodies, thrash out new regulations. Trading hours, advertising, blood-alcohol levels for drivers and drinking age-restrictions will be revisited, and revamped. Whether the new regulations are implemented, however, remains a different kettle of moonshine all together.
To find what there is in a name, one first has to be able to pronounce it. This is the conundrum facing many wine-lovers who embark on the process of asking for a bottle of Gewürztraminer, the lovely bright white wine of which Delheim Estate remains one of the few South African producers. So convinced is Nora Thiel of the problem consumers face with the pronouncing of this wine, that she believes more people are ordering Gewürztraminer now that on-line sales are taking-off.
Widely recognised as South Africa’s leading exponent of Sauvignon Blanc, Thys Louw is managing expectations well. The owner-winemaker of Diemersdal Estate seems to make a habit of releasing a new Sauvignon Blanc under his family farm’s brand each year or two.
The small town of Pniel might not be the most well-known address in the Cape Winelands, but it certainly is one of the most magnificently located. It lies at the foot of the Franschhoek side of the Banghoek pass, nestled between the majestic Simonsberg and Drakenstein Mountains, and situated close enough to the vineyards for Rose Kruger to harbour ambitions of becoming a winemaker at an early age.
Dear President Ramaphosa
I represent no-one but myself, who is – like you – an African. Although history has divided our respective heritages, I believe we share more than many pessimistic onlookers and commentators wish to think.
In my 56 years on this South African earth, many attempts have been made to highlight the differences between the nations and cultures co-existing within our borders. Perhaps I have been stubborn or disinterested or naïve in my digesting of this information and propaganda. For I believe we have more in common than what separates us. There is a greater bond between you and I – a white Afrikaner and a black man of the Venda nation – than many would care to believe. These commonalities are not limited to you and me. They form part of the interwoven fabric of that which defines all Africans.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are regularly touted as the go-to varieties for showcasing terroir and character of site. This is fact, for two reasons: one, both are gorgeous wines with chemistries capable of gripping specific geographical nuances and expressing these tastes of place of vineyard origin in the glass.
History continues to be written by the victors, such as South Africa’s Kanonkop wine estate. It is being scribed this year, as has been the case for the past three. Although Kanonkop has been a permanent part of the country’s top-end wine offering since its first vintage 47 years back, the past three years has seen the estate having a run of success, unlike anything the local wine industry has seen.