Saturday morning in Stellenbosch, in pictures

Had a lovely Saturday in Stellenbosch. Such a pretty town. At the heart of South Africa’s winelands, it’s an easy place to hang. These are some street pics.

 

Incredible sweet wines, from Mullineux and Klein Constantia, including the 1875

In the space of one day I had the chance to try some mind blowing sweet wines, new and old. The first experience was at Klein Constantia. Back in the 18th and 19th Centuries, the Constantia estate made world renowned sweet wines. The estate was later split into three, but by this stage the production [...]

Leeu Passant: exciting new wines from Chris and Andrea Mullineux

One of the most anticipated South African releases of recent years: the Leeu Passant wines from Chris and Andrea Mullineux. After a sneaky preview with Chris at ProWein last week, we got to taste them at the Franschhoek tasting room on the Leeu Estates.

Andrea and Chris Mullineux

There are three wines in the range: two [...]

Exploring Hemel-en-Aarde

Spent a few days in Hemel-en-Aarde, looking around. This is a cool-ish climate wine region in a valley that meets the coast right by the lovely town of Hermanus, about 90 minutes’ drive from Cape Town. [Tip: if you drive from Cape Town, allow an extra 20 minutes and drive along the coast road, which [...]

Flotsam & Jetsam Cinsault, tasted on camera

Another Cinsault! This time, it’s from Chris and Suzaan Alheit. This is an honest wine, made for drinking, and it’s lovely. South Africa is producing quite a few of these wines, and I think that’s a good thing.

Flotsam & Jetsam Stalwart Cinsault 2016 Western Cape, South Africa
12% alcohol. Lovely juicy, bright cherry and berry fruits [...]

The Mount Abora Saffraan Cinsault: bright and luminous

This was a delicious and smashable wine, and it didn’t cost very much. It’s a naturally made Swartland Cinsault, and on the back label it says, ‘this wine harks back to the times of bright and luminous wines.’ Indeed, this is bright and luminous. [By way of interest, here's my note on the previous vintage.]

Mount [...]

Some fine wines at Ellory, with Texier, Stephan, Foradori, Le Soula, Bosman

Had some lovely wines last night with Angela Jordaan and Thor Gudmundsson at the fabulous Ellory (thoroughly recommended: really good small plates style menu and excellent wine list). Here are my notes.

Bosman Optenhorst Chenin Blanc 2014 Wellington, South Africa
From vines planted in 1952, making this South Africa’s fourth oldest Chenin vineyard. Natural ferment, one-third in concrete, [...]

Video: what makes Elgin a special wine region?

In this video clip, I interview Andrew Gunn of Iona, and his winemaker Werner Muller, about what makes the Elgin Valley a special wine region. We also talk about Elgin’s particular talents: the grape varieties that excel here.

See also, my other Elgin videos:

Elgin vintage experience 4, Elgin Ridge

The final day of my Elgin vintage experience 2017 was spent with biodynamic winery Elgin Ridge.

This is a film of the day:

We went to the vineyards where Sauvignon Blanc was being harvested. The grapes were looking perfect.

The grapes are harvested in lug boxes and then taken a short distance to the winery.

Also being harvested, after [...]

Elgin vintage experience 3, Almenkerk

Day 3 of my Elgin harvest experiences was at Almenkerk, hosted by owners Joris van Almenkerk and Natalie Opstaele. They are great fun and have a really thoughtful, scientific approach to farming. The day began with a farm tour, riding pilion with Joris as he took me through some blocks that were almost ready to [...]