Bumped into Grande Roche head sommelier Josephine Gutentoft at Bar Bar Black Sheep this lunch time. Josephine reports that over 600 people attended the Real Men Ferment Wild tasting I hosted yesterday. I’m sure the explanation was the R50 entrance fee rather than my participation (which turned into a damp squib when the microphone was hijacked for another gig). Josephine was looking for any leftover Swartland Revolution cadres while simultaneously modeling the military-style Swartland Revolution shoulder bag.
Instead of wasting money on braii books and even translating them into German, SA exporters should follow the lead of the Swartland and support local fashion by bringing out a range of trendy bags. We were lunching on calamari tentacles with Dutch organic wine importer Joost Alferink who reports that support for organic exports to the Netherlands is hopeless. “The export big boss came and she told us that the organic niche had disappeared and tried to sell us on sustainability and funny bottle stickers, when in our experience the organic segment is growing rapidly.” Perhaps it has something to do with Jack Parow, who appears on Dutch TV “once a day in his funny cap. The Dutch love him.” Let’s hope he really is on a retainer for Klipdrift Brandy, as one competitor asked me recently.
While organic wine marketing may languish (2010 production volumes collapsed after unfavourable weather conditions), WOSA certainly took the Swartland Revolution seriously with communications Czar André Morgenthal attending on his birthday. Eben Sadie led the revolutionaries in a spirited rendition of “happy birthday” confirming that in the Swartland at least, messengers don’t get mugged.
One of the biggest eye-openers at the Revolution was how many people recognize me from by blog rather than my columns in the Sunday Times and WINE magazine. Confirming the Friday comments of KWV CEO Thys Loubser to me on the relative value of new media versus dead-tree dinosaurs. Here is Raffi from Paris who reads me every morning (he says). Who knows, perhaps one day I’ll join Tim Atkin and Jamie Goode on the WOSA golf and shark cage diving circuit.
A natural sucker for conspiracies, I must report one vouchsafed by Riebeek Cellars GM and Cellarmaster Zakkie Bester. “We planned to have a Chenin Festival this weekend and booked out the Royal Hotel months ago. The next thing was posters around town advertizing the Swartland Revolution at our venue on our weekend. I went to the Royal and our booking was skoonveld.” A second indignity after Bollinger Champagne hijacked Pieter Cruythoff as the town’s fizz for the Revolution.
Who paid the R1750 for Wosa’s Sir Lunch-a-lot to attend?
Do cool bag from Swartland in first film come with her girl attached? Schwwwinnng, she very hot.
Thanks so much for participating in the weekend’s festival. I still feel terrible about the mess up with the microphone, as we looked forward to hearing your address. As Helena pointed out though, just your name seemed to be enough as it did not put a dent in the turnout, or the party!
I have to address a couple of Counter Revolutionary errors in your fun commentary though:
* Poor Jasper was not in charge of the microphone (we asked him to be in charge of the music of course, as not many can do it better), but the microphone was a completely separate thing, and the organiser’s duty – so the blame falls squarely at My and Callie’s feet, and since Jasper is somewhat hurt by your posting, I have to respond: DO LET JASPER ORGANISE THE SOUND (AND THE TUNES)!
* Eben’s wine from the Paardeberg was from his Stok-by-Paaltjie vineyard at Lammershoek, and not from the Voor Paardeberg. Not sure which Bloody Agent gave you that info.
* We Revolutionaries booked out the Royal Hotel in May this year, and there was no Chenin tasting listed at that stage… you might need to send some spies into the Royal to investigate their booking system and that Conspiracy Theory further.
Other those Counter Revolutionary Tendencies, you have everything spot on – as Raffi from Paris mailed me to say this morning “My wife asked me how it was this morning when I got back (from the Revolution), and I said that it was like ‘Woodstock.. but without the ***’.”
Look forward to seeing you there next year!
Cheers, Chris Mullineux
******* Agent! Take off those red sock’ses!
cool work by all in that region, push the boundries.
The Jasper joke was meant in jest! He did top up my Bolly from a corked bottle, though. (Another joke).
The Voor/Poor-Paardeberg/Partyberg/Vaaderberg/Vaarterberg producer who misinformed me as to the origin of Eben’s granite grapes knows who he is and should wipe the grape-eating grin off his face.
Thanks Neil – mine was jest too
Corked Bolly… should have sent it back for a refund…
Neil, it was a great event.. with days of hard work and behind-the-scenes scrambling to get the program running smoothly.. some hiccups did slip in though.
Error on my side, the Bollinger was passed on to me, I should have tasted it before it went out.. Will definitely not happen again in future.
The mic, ja what can I say, the other sound guy hurried to a wedding and I did not know you had a speech.. If i had my own equipment (what is left after last year’s Paardeberg Harvest Party) you would have had center stage!
In hindsight, it was a unforgettable weekend and we go bigger, better and smoother next year..
See you in the Mountain..
No worries – it makes the story I’m writing about the Revolution for my next book all the more interesting!