Klein Karoo Pastoral – With Ice

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I was quite offended when referring to a lady of loose morals, a wine-snob friend stated that said woman is “the kind of person who puts ice in red wine”. The fraternity of wine aficionados obviously find this tag highly offensive, something akin to burning your first born with red-hot iron while getting a satanic tattoo, but it really did not have an effect on me. Partly because I, well, really like a cube of ice in red wine.

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Keeping the Wolf at the Cellar Door

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The Wolftrap is a roguish, edgy name which is linked to a very successful South African wine brand. It is apparently named after the discovery of a device used to trap wolves in the mountains of Franschhoek and home to the brand’s owner, Boekenhoutskloof.

This is debatable: wolves – of the wild animal kind – have never been seen in Africa. (I am not talking of those poor creatures kept as pets by small-dicked wannabes). So who would identify this piece of apparatus as a trap for said animals?

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Bring Your Own Makes Business Sense

South Africa’s wine capital of Stellenbosch is not really having its cup runneth over with culinary hot-spots. That would be the town itself ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ the surrounding winelands have a plethora of fine places to chow-down in spectacular surroundings.

Knowing this, I was still surprised when a group of local advertising honchos suggested we meet at the relatively-recently opened Hussar Grill in Plein Street where they were planning to twist my arm into dropping a wad of cash with their media portfolio.

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The Old Man and the Juice

Senior student and budding winemaker Riaan Smit continues his harvest oddyssey.

The 10 would-be winemakers of Class of 2011 at Elsenburg have so far made about 35 000 liters of wine ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ the most wine by any final year B Agric class in many years. We will probably make more than 50 000 liters because we have not started on our Shiraz, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon blocks.

In the last couple of years the class was usually 20 students – twice the current size ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ and student winemakers were only assigned 10 or 15 rows of a vineyard block to make wine. This year, entire blocks became the responsibility of individual students or groups of students, with the result that each student is making much more wine, and a greater variety, than students of previous years.

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SA Wine Industry Goes Ape for Baboons

Roald in the mood for comment.

The South African wine industry is set to follow the example of local citrus producers by employing the services of wild baboons to help identify superior fruit quality and to create new varietals. This follows the recent international media frenzy where reporters descended upon the Western Cape town of Citrusdal to report on the success a major citrus farmer had after the taste-buds of the mountain baboons had assisted him in creating a new sweeter-tasting and all-round improved variety of orange.

According to Faizel van der Vyver, a wine grower from the Western Cape’s Breederivier wine region, the assistance of baboons in identifying better grapes for winemaking must not be underestimated. “I let the troops of baboons patrol my Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc vines, and it is interesting to see which grapes they eat and which they leave behind,” says Van der Vyver. “Here in the harvest season they will only select grapes at optimum ripeness, around 25?+¦?????+¦???-¬B and disregard bunches that are not yet fit for harvest. Their ability to detect the correct degree of skin or pip greenness is uncanny.”

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