A lovely South African Chardonnay, and a top Champagne

I have been judging wines at Tranche 1 of the International Wine Challenge this week. The idea is, for the first time, to split judging into two sessions: the customary April two weeks, plus an additional week in November. This helps with southern and northern hemisphere wineries releasing wines at different times.

But I wanted to [...]

Video: Hemel en Aarde, one of South Africa's most dynamic wine regions

Here’s a film I made last week in Hemel en Aarde, which is one of South Africa’s most dynamic wine regions. It has come a long way in the last decade, and is now making some superb wines. Here I interview some of the leading players.

Day 5 in South Africa

I stayed overnight at the lovely Schulphoek guest house, a short distance along from Hermanus. It’s a lovely spot, and in the morning I went for a run along the sea front, along a beautiful coastal path. This was soul-restoring.

Back at the guest house, Peter-Allan Finlayson rocked up to show me his wines. His Hemel en [...]

In South Africa, day 4, heaven on earth

My day spent in Hemel en Aarde (heaven and earth) is one that I’ll remember for a long time. I can’t recall a day spent in wine country with so many good visits (although I am sure there have been one or two, simply because I have been fortunate to visit many wine regions).

I started [...]