Back in 1981, when the Cape Winemakers’ Guild was first formed, the South African wine scene was very different to how it is today. One of the founder members of the CWG, Kevin Arnold of Waterford Estate, recalls how the organization began as a way for isolated winemakers in the Cape to share knowledge and [...]
Patrick Cappiello and Pascaline Lepeltier presented this Chenin tasting at Texsom.
‘I deeply believe that Chenin is the best white grape in the world,’ says Pascaline, a very highly regarded sommelier. She’s been working in New York for the last eight years, but she grew up in the Loire, and is a keen evangelist for Loire [...]
Johan ‘Stompie’ Meyer is one of the most highly regarded of South Africa’s new wave winegrowers. He makes the wines for Mount Abora (as a consultant), and has his own project, JH Meyer Wines. And this is a new venture for him: Mother Rock/Force Majeure, a joint venture with his UK agent Indigo [...]
I’m a big fan of Craig Hawkins’ Testalonga wines. They’re very brave and distinctive. He works pretty naturally, so the big question: how do they evolve? This one had evolved very well indeed, and was spectacular.
Testalonga Cortez El Bandito 2009 Swartland, South Africa
This Chenin Blanc was made with no added sulphites, so how does it [...]
This is a lovely wine. It defines smashable. I had it while I was solo dining last week, and if you are solo dining then you need something like this to drink.
And: I love the term smashable. I don’t know where I picked it up. Maybe Australia. Or South Africa.
Not all wines need to be [...]
Finished my South African trip with an incredible informal lunch at Schoon de Companje, Stellenbosch, with a group of wine producers. Present were Ryan Mostert, Samantha Suddons, Reenen Borman, Mick Craven, Tremayne Smith, Andrew Wightman, Gavin Slabbert, Stompie Meyer, Adam Mason and Pieter van der Merwe. Quite a gathering. These are very exciting wines: the [...]
Here’s a short film of the judging of the Standard Bank Top 10 Chenin Blanc competition
This is the much talked about high-end South African Chenin Blanc from one of the grape’s greatest ambassadors. I managed to catch up with Shawn Mathyse, a young winemaker who works with Ken on some of his small lot projects like this, and he told me more about it. It’s a 100% Chenin from a [...]
After staying overnight at Leeu House, part of the Leeu Collection, I visited the newly opened Leeu Estates in Franschhoek, which began receiving guests just a couple of weeks ago.
It’s a five-star boutique hotel in a dreamlike setting, backed by mountains and with an unparalleled view of the Francshhoek Valley. There are 17 rooms, and [...]
I visited the new tasting room at the Leeu Collection in Franschhoek, to taste through the new releases of the Mullineux wines.
It’s a lovely space, with glass windows looking through to the barrel cellar. Chris and Andrea Mullineux’ wines are now regarded as some of the very best in South Africa. Since their release they [...]