Next weeks’s Mining Indaba at the Cape Town Convention Centre is perhaps the least-used opportunity to sell SA wine in the calendar. Last year, Andy Rompel (then with Anglo American) led an expedition of miners around the Winelands and one spin off was the purchase of $14K of Stellenbosch icons, shipped to Peru at a cost of $860 (via Hamburg) and a Peruvian customs charge of $5K for an average price of $40 a bottle – way cheaper than Argentinian icons in Lima and only beaten by Chile. But then they are next door.
Geologist turned winemaker Gary Jordan at the eponymous winery in the Stellenboschkloof is getting into the mining mood with explosives (above), turning regolith into terroir. An Indaba field trip out to the new vineyard site is called for and judging by the lithologies exposed below, wine quality should be up to Jordan’s stellar level by the end of the decade.
We’ve come a long way since 2010 when wineries in the Stellenboschkloof were resisting approaches from an exploration company seeking to cash in on the mineral wealth of the valley. But SA should thank its lucky stars for investors like Gazza trying to make money the old way, through hard work, rather than seeking a complementary first class berth on the nearest gravy train.