Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs 1997

This MCC (Methode Cap Classique, a term used for traditional method sparkling wines from South Africa) deserves a post of its own. It’s 15 years old (almost 16) and it’s drinking beautifully, with no sign of tiredness.

Graham Beck Brut Blanc de Blancs 1997 Robertson, South Africa
50% of this was fermented in barrels, and it spent [...]

Video: an interview with Chris and Suzaan Alheit of Alheit Vineyards

One of my visits last week was with Chris and Suzaan Alheit of Alheit Vineyards, who were propelled to fame with the critical success of their first wine, the 2011 Cartology. They are now just about to release the 2012 Cartology, and also the first of their single vineyard wines, Radio Lazarus 2012. Here’s an [...]

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 [...]

Day 3 in South Africa, and a slice of history

My third day in South Africa was a memorable one. A day on which I learned a great deal, and developed a healthy respect for the history of wine here.

It is so easy to be obsessed by the exciting new things that are going on in this wine country, at the expense of recognizing good stuff [...]

In South Africa, day 2

It was with a sense of sadness that I left Delaire Graff. Accommodation more perfect I could not imagine, and my night was over. I was off to Nederburg in Paarl, for some work – tasting wines that had been submitted for the famous Nederburg Auction.

10 experienced tasters were gathered to sort the sheep from [...]

In South Africa, day 1 Graham Beck and Delaire Graff

I land at 8 am and I’m met at the airport by Nicolette Waterford, South African wine PR star, who has arranged for me to visit two of her clients. Nicolette’s husband Darryl owns a helicopter charter form, so we are travelling in style, along with Graham Beck winemaker Erika Obermeyer.

After an amazing flight over [...]

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.