Franschhoek’s Polished Pedigree

With Franschhoek having the finest sales-point for Cuban cigars in the winelands, time there is usually well-spent. It is just wonderful waltzing across to the town’s main monument. The unmissable one honouring my French Huguenot forebears. Here, it is quite moving, standing with an aromatic Partagas No.4 cigar in hand and looking at the family name etched on the monument’s face. A tribute to those brave folk who fled France to avoid being burnt at the stake and settling at the Cape in 1688.

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Sweet Success of The Chocolate Block

Having recently flown half-way around the world – literally – it was astounding to see the presence of one specific South African wine label at every stop. From Cape Town International, the frenetic bazaar-like space of Dubai Airport all the way to Auckland, New Zealand a bottle bearing a white label with the words The Chocolate Block was encountered in nearly every wine  store.

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Bright Whites, Big Celebration

You are not the kind of guy who normally finds himself drinking four glasses of Chardonnay at 10.30 on a week-day morning. But here you are, seated in a crowd of people who, like you, have made the journey to De Wetshof in Robertson to partake in a collection of the Burgundian Jesus Juice.

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Joy of Taj Trophy Wines Masks French Disasters

Despite having the blood of La Grande Nation coursing through my robust veins, the French can really get on my pods of pectoral muscle, commonly known as tits. Take the current form of Les Bleus in the Rugby Six Nations. Not only are they playing with the listlessness of an unbaked baguette, but their tight five – traditionally the mainstay of French rugby – appear to be sponsored by Weigh-Less and the Peace Brigade. And as far as passion goes, they apparently left their spines in the Montmartre whorehouse where their mothers worked.

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Charm and the Heartbreak Grape

I had always struggled to nail my precise feeling towards Pinot Noir when Danie de Wet did it for me. “You find three kinds of wine: red wine… white wine,” the Sage from De Wetshof said, “and then you have Pinot Noir.” This was over a decade ago when De Wet had been busy at playing pioneer again – not Chardonnay, but by making the first Pinot Noir in the Robertson Valley.

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The deceptively simple and seemingly innocuous description stuck, and the more Pinots I drink the more on-the-button Danie’s words appear.

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