Worm farms, biodynamics and a serious Syrah at Waterkloof

I have just written up a lengthy article on Waterkloof, the Stellenbosch winery owned by UK wine merchant Paul Boutinot. It’s a really great project that just beginning to hit its stride, and is one of the few South African wineries to have embraced biodynamics. In this blog post, I wanted to draw out three [...]

Syrah in South Africa, a film with some leading wine growers

The third and final of my varietally focused films interviewing leading South African wine growers focuses on Syrah. I love Syrah, and it is slowly but surely beginning to do really well in South Africa. Here’s what they have to say.

Chenin Blanc in South Africa, a short film with some leading wine growers

Here’s the second of my short films from Cape Wine. This time I quiz some of South Africa’s leading wine growers about Chenin Blanc in South Africa. They have some interesting things to say.

Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2011, a five-star Pinot from South Africa

A couple of days ago I blogged on South African Pinot Noir, with a film interviewing some key winegrowers. Well here’s the wine that prompted me to make that film. I tracked down a bottle in London, having already tasted it at the Green Tie party at Cape Wine. It’s superb. Five star quality.

Newton Johnson [...]

Cape Wine: lunch at Bizerca, Cape Town

So, after a busy morning tasting, the Cape Wine Brits met for lunch at Bizerca (www.bizerca.com), a lovely French-themed bistro. There was a good buzz in the air, helped by some decent wine, the presence of Wadsack (who always lifts the atmosphere), and a plate of oysters to kick things off with.

On Wadsack’s advice we [...]

Video: Pinot Noir in South Africa - an emerging story

This is the first of three films I made at Cape Wine, each focusing on individual varieties with a story to tell. It’s about Pinot Noir. South African Pinot used to be fairly poor, with one or two noteworthy exceptions. Now there’s a buzz about it, and there are a critical mass of interesting Pinots [...]

Cape Wine 2012, day 2, the Chenin conference

Up bright and early on Monday morning to head into Cape Town for the Chenin Blanc Association conference.

Ken Forrester, Chenin advocate

Chenin is a super grape and South Africa has half of the world’s plantings. It represents 18% of South Africa’s vineyard area, so it’s a big deal here.

I learned a lot from the conference. [...]

Cape Wine, day 1

Gary Jordan, Claudia Brown and Francois Haasbroek

So I arrived with a jolly bunch of UK journalists in Cape Town, on a cold and rainy day. We’re all on slightly different itineraries here, so some of us headed off for Sunday afternoon at Ernie Els’ place in Stellenbosch, where a bunch of Stellenbosch winemakers had gathered [...]

First look at a new high-end Pinotage from Flagstone

The wonderful Bruce Jack sent me a bottle of a new wine that he’s making under his Flagstone label. Just 200o bottles of this Pinotage, from a single vineyard high up in the Bredekloof mountains, were made. It’s just an infant, and although it will be released this September, it’s a wine to hold onto for [...]

Weekend in the country, and three rich whites: Chile, South Africa and France

The long bank holiday weekend provided an ideal opportunity for a family get together. Remarkably, we managed to find a house big enough to take 15 on budget in the quaint village of Erdisland, Herefordshire.

My job on these occasions is to provide the wine. There’s a strong demand for crisp, dry, unoaked white wine, and [...]