“He’s not jumped ship” said the beautiful Avondale marketing maven Madeleine Jordaan, indicating Glen Carlou’s gifted winemaker Arco Laarman with her thumb, “he’s with me.” Glen Carlou have been shedding staff faster than Anglo Platinum (David Finlayson has departed for Edgebaston and Mooi Cobus Joubert is now consulting to several high profile brands) so another round of musical chairs at the Paarl producer would not come as a surprise. “The handcrafted wines of David Finlayson” now rings a bit hollow on Glen Carlou labels and Anthony Lane should stand-by for that redesign call.
But I knew that Arco was not on the market, as Grape, usually first with the gossip goodies, were mum on the matter. Interesting the new direction at the communal blog – employment announcement service – after several serious producers gave up inviting the pips to functions. A sign of desperate times, indeed. “It’s outrageous” exploded one to the PR poppie “we’re doing their wines for Platter and we don’t get invited!”
Which is indeed a shame, as the SA wine spittoon would be like a glass of 2006 Cape Riesling without hedonism’s hirsute heroes. Last night at 1800 Degrees, the all-singing, all-dancing über-bling restaurant of the Cape Royale, table talk at Avondale’s blow-out gourmet dinner focused on the fate of Conrad Gallagher’s Geisha Wok and Noodle Bar next door, with Conrad reportedly wokking and wolling off to the Emerald Isle, leaving a reported R210K a month hotel consultancy behind in his turbulent wake. Rather than brett levels and the curse of stealthily increasing residual sugar levels (and surprisingly, alcohols) in this year’s reds.
I for one would rather hear about red Sémillion than the saga of having Conrad’s chefs come to cook dinner and make off with the Furi knives by mistake. As one of the Avondale diners asked “do you still write for Noseweek?”
Alas, TT’s Grape job news service is often wrong, like the scoop that Hidden Valley’s Louis Nel is now on half time. He ain’t!
Pity that few know the ugly truth of the disgusting way GC’s key people were treated.
Call me – I’ll give you the low-down…