Will Piet Viljoen repeat for SA fine wine what he’s busy doing for Cape Town fine art in the shape of his brave non-commercial New Church Gallery in Tamboerskloof? I.E. shake it up and slay the greedy dragons who have perverted wine competitions and turned them into personal get-rich-quick schemes and replace them with an opportunity for the celebration of mature wines.
Astronaut is the name of the Pinotage that Anibal Coutinho makes from our Lemoenfontein grapes. So when US Cosmonaut Greg Olsen decided to make a nouveau, Beaujolais style wine, that he should do so from the Pinotage grapes he grows on his farm in Paarl, comes as no surprise.
What a difference a year makes. The maiden 2011 vintage of the Brink Family Pinotage Rosé from Pulpit Rock was rated sighted by the leading SA guide at 1½ stars in 2011 with the dismissive comment “lacks nuance.” Which conforms to anorak perceptions: “Rosé does not make serious wine.”
The Cape Town suburb of Newlands should be renamed Slanghoek for the welcome it gave to the 250 snakes who turned out for the Cape to Canton Chinese new year festival this afternoon at the Vineyard Hotel & Spa. Here are some of the Chefs who steamed up a storm with spinach dim sums from Haiku firm favourites with snake charmer Jonathan Steyn.
The weekend after next is the busiest one on Cape Town’s dance card. Parliament opens and the Mining Indaba closes and to top it all, ten days of festivities to mark the Chinese New Year, kicks off. The dragons of 2012 are being chased back up Table Mountain and the water snake of 2013 will be welcomed at the Sea Palace outside the Waterfront where Miss Chung expects to feed 5,000 over 10 days.
Capitalism’s corporate newsletter, the Wall Street Journal, has been forced to correct the recent bitter sweet paean to Pinotage by Lettie Teague. “An earlier version of this column incorrectly said Mr. Mandela didn’t love Pinotage, which his winery’s representative hadn’t been asked, and incorrectly said Vin de Constance had been his favorite.” A double put-down of Lettie and South Africa’s icon dessert wine (now under foreign ownership and management) by the country’s only living icon, Nelson Mandela.
Powered by ABSA bank, it makes sense that the Pinotage Association at least should take the Wall Street Journal seriously. And the news that it’s Pinotage-doubting columnist Lettie Teague has seriously grasped the iron banana (so-called after tasting comments at the ABSA Top Ten Pinotage Competition over the years) has energized the Association.
Pinotage got off to a good start to 2013 in an unlikely place – the columns of the Wall Street Journal. Long-time Pinotage-hater Lettie Teague penned an unexpected column headed Does Much-Unloved Pinotage Deserve Another Look? before answering her rhetorical question in the affirmative. For Lettie has long boasted about her antipathy to SA’s great grape with the same offhanded brio bigots use to parade their racist, anti-semitic and homophobic prejudices. Her last swipe was as recently as October in a drive-by shooting of the grape in a Californian Merlot story.Read More…
Business Day today quotes Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies that “the government is making some headway in getting China to open its huge market to South Africa’s value-added goods such as wines and not just to raw materials.” After a DTI exhibition in the Middle Kingdom in 2011 Rob claims “there have been R400m-worth of confirmed orders for value-added products, the biggest being wine.” Meanwhile SAWIS reports exports to China last year were down 7% from 5.5 to 5.1 million litres. So unless the wine component was all Johann Krige’s Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage, R400m looks optimistic. If this is “starting to make headway” then Rob should apply to run WOSA who last year famously claimed exports of bottled wine were on the up when it was the opposite, actually.Read More…
when Fons Aaldering launched his eponymous wine brand on an unsuspecting SA in May 2010, shortly before the soccer World Cup, he chose La Colombe as launch pad. Alas, lunch left much to the imagination, featuring as it did, homepathic truffles and foie gras. “If you ever come to the Netherlands” offered Fons “I’ll take you to a decent restaurant.” So on Thursday I was treated to the meal of my life at De Librije in Zwolle, home town of Herman Brood. Here is Fons and our chef, Jonnie Boer.