It has only been three decades since attending my last university class, but I can’t remember any of my teachers being quite this engaging and enthusiastic about their subject. But then again, Professor Sanette Ferreira from Stellenbosch University’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, is at the coal-face of arguably the South African wine industry’s hottest topic, namely wine tourism.
There’s a lot of good stuff going on in new plantings, new wines, new styles. Juicy drops concocted from a medley of Rh?+¦???+¦?+¦????ne varietals. Hearty, solid Portuguese-styled reds. The odd experiment with Sangiovese and co-Italian variety Nebbiola.
Yes, the South African wine industry is free from its over-regulated shackles of yesteryear, leaving farmers to plant what they want, where they want. Okay, so it takes a call to Duimpie Bayly at the Wine and Spirits Board, but what the heck. Want to plant Gr?+¦???+¦?+¦???+æneveltliner on the Heads at Knysna or Nero d’Avola on the Cape Flats, go for it.
Excuse me for saying so, but I was not supposed to really enjoy last week’s media lunch at Rust en Vrede. Being part of the team responsible for the event I was busy ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ like yourself ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ busy with a lot of backroom grinding. Organizing, translating fact-sheets, planning the flow of the event with Coenie, Kobie and Jean, arranging photographs, burning CDs, arranging with the esteemed members of the SA wine writing fraternity, and so forth.
This was, when hosting the cr?+¦???+¦?+¦-+?+¦+ëme de la cr?+¦???+¦?+¦-+?+¦+ëme of SA’s wine media at Rust and Vrede, a pleasure, but one is sure kept on your toes to ensure it will be alright on the night.