Tired, now, after a great first day in South Africa. I landed this morning, had a quick refresh, then hit the road. Too tired to do proper write-ups now, so a few pictures will have to do.
Christiaan and his worm farm
First visit, the fabulous Waterkloof, with Werner Engelbrecht and farm manager Christiaan Loots. [...]
So I arrived in Cape Town this morning, picked up a tiny, under-powered rental car, and headed out to Riebeek Kasteel, in the Swartland. Tomorrow, the Revolution begins.
I got a bit lost in Malmesbury, because of a road closure, but arrived around 1 pm at the Royal Hotel. So I decided to walk around town, [...]
The Brancott Estate earlier today
The title of this blog post – ‘wines from here will be come world famous’ – were the prophetic words uttered by Montana’s Frank Yukich as he put the first vines of the modern era into the ground in Marlborough.
There’s a monument to his achievement at the Brancott Estate. Yukich [...]
John Key speaking at the opening of the Brancott Estate Heritage Centre
Last night was fun. It was the official opening of the new Brancott Estate Heritage Centre, which has recently been completed. The centre has been built on a small hill overlooking the historic Brancott Vineyard, where Marlborough’s first Sauvignon Blanc grapes were planted [...]
A big day yesterday. It began with a stroll down to the waterfront for some beers with Nick Stock and Iain Riggs (of Brokenwood in Australia’s Hunter Valley), but this morphed into lunch when Stocky successfully got us a table in a crowded restaurant by slipping a member of staff some $$$. His view is [...]
I’m just waking up after my first sleep in New Zealand. After arriving at 7 am yesterday from London, I’m very proud that I managed to stay up until midnight, and slept through until this morning. I’ll need my energy: tonight it’s Wales v France, and I suspect a late night coming on.
I spent yesterday [...]
I’m now back from my first visit to Russia, which was a great experience and will be written up in full, in my usual anorak-like fashion.
The last morning was spent at Abrau Durso, a sparkling wine specialist. It’s a house with some history, spanning back to 1870. Current production levels are a surprising 18 million [...]
Had a little bit of time to look round the port city of Novorossiysk yesterday. Its seafront has been redeveloped very attractively, and there’s a huge old battleship moored in front of the promenade.
This was followed by lunch at Cafe Prego, where as an alternative to their normal Italian fare, they had prepared a fantastic [...]
I spent today in the Fanagoria winery in Russia. It’s a big operation, making a range of wines from 2500 hectares of vines. That’s big by any standards, but this Jacob’s Creek of Russian wine does a pretty good job, aided by consultant winemaker John Worontschack.
Some food notes. Above, herring, onion and potato; below, sala, [...]
So, after an 0335 alarm call, two flights and a car journey, I’m in a vineyard region in Russia.
I’ve never been to Russia before. Over the next few days I’ll be visiting a number of wineries in a region with no official name. It’s probably best described as Russia’s Black Sea Coast.