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11 blogs found

Koen Roose is the first to admit that he quite likes being known as the “crazy Belgian” in the Elgin wine valley. He’s crazy alright... crazy like a fox!
With the current drought in the Cape Winelands on everyone’s minds, conserving water has become a major focus. However, some forward thinking, conservation-minded landowners have long been saving this critical resource. The Simonsberg Conservancy was established way back in 2004 with the idea of rooting out our alien vegetation in order to bring back the natural fauna and flora of the area. With agricultural development, more and more indigenous plant species were under threat as cultivated land crept up the slopes of the Simonsberg.
The sands of the Bottelary Hills run through Danie Steytler’s veins. The soils of this Stellenbosch region have shaped him as if out of clay and made him into the person and celebrated winemaker he is today. The Steytler family have farmed Kaapzicht Estate for over 70 years, and Danie is the third generation with 40 vintages of winemaking behind him.
Beyond the Mainstream,
February 2018
Valdiguié. No, I hadn’t heard of this obscure or ‘rather ordinary’ (as Jancis Robinson describes it in Wine Grapes) variety from South-West France until I tasted it recently under the Wilson Foreigner label, a Californian project between David Wilson and South Africa’s Chris Alheit. Valdiguié is most definitely an alternative variety.
Several WWF Conservation Champions farms promote and support the conservation of the threatened Cape mountain leopard, setting an example of environmental protection in the wine industry.
On words and meaning,
February 2018
I was stopped in my tracks by a word.
“At Du Toitskloof, we understand that to develop a sustainable local wine industry, it is essential for our workers to thrive,” says Du Toitskloof Winery CEO, Marius Louw.
I first got know Peter Finlayson aka The Pinot Pioneer over a plate of West Coast oysters and a bottle of Bouchard Finlayson’s Blanc de Mer. As far as first-impressions go—from one oyster-and-wine-lover to another—this was a home run. The memory of that lunch comes washing over me as I admire a still life of oysters, bread and a bottle of Bouchard Finlayson white—which is hung on a wall in the Hemel-en-Aarde winery. The oysters may be rendered, but the man sitting across from me is as vital as ever. The Sinatra of the wine industry, this gentle giant with his sharp blue eyes and salt-and-pepper beard has a presence that commands attention. Peter Finlayson is no wallflower.
120 000 visitors in a year.
Years swing by so swiftly, it seems like yesterday harvest 2017 finished; yet, 2018 has already started with bubbly producers taking in the first grapes during the second week of January – around a week later than last year.
“I was the smallest guy in the hostel in boarding school,” says Duimpie Bayly. “That’s where I got my nickname: Duimpie means ‘small thumb’.” And he’s never been called anything else since. I ask him what it says on his many awards or what was used in his professional capacity. The answer is of course, Duimpie Bayly. He says there may be a ‘Francis’, his birth name, on some documents somewhere.