South Africa

The wines of South Africa

Thank you card from The Harrow

Farewell to The Harrow, Little Bedwyn

As a small, gastronomic, diversion from the wines of Piemonte, I am marking the end of an era with the imminent closure of The Harrow, Little Bedwyn. For the last 21 years Roger and Sue Jones have run this brilliant and civilised restaurant with a great cellar.  For many of those years it had a

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Line-up June 2019

My favourite wines

My favourite wines – for a special occasion, celebrating the end of MW exams

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Syrah spectacular

I have only recently come to realise how much I love Syrah as a wine. It has now joined my personal pantheon of Nebbiolo, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese (and quite a few other tannic Italian varieties) and the very best examples of Chardonnay, roughly in that order.   These are the varieties I want to cellar

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Cape Town from Durbanville Hills

Sauvignon, Pinot, Chardonnay and gastronomy in the Western Cape

My second week in South Africa’s Western Cape was a mixture of visits to Elgin and Hermanus plus some wonderful holiday days in Franschhoek and finally Cape Town.  I cover a few more wines here, to complement my last post about the top wines of the visit.   My photo essay of the area around Cape

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Pieter Ferreira of Graham Beck

Best wines of the S Africa trip

In the course of fifteen days in the Western Cape, more than half of them on a formal visit organised by Wines of South Africa, I think I received a pretty good snapshot of the current state of the wine lands. As elsewhere in the world, the emphasis was on fruit freshness, balancing acidity and

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single pole training, Olifantsberg

A week of wine in the Western Cape

Janet and I have spent an amazing, experience-packed week in South Africa’s Western Cape. The wine itinerary has been excellently organised by Wines of South Africa.   On some days we have already visited two estates by 10.30 in the morning. Other visits have been to bodies like the Chenin Blanc Association, the Stellenbosch University wine

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Western cape photos

South Africa’s Western Cape is famously beautiful and photogenic.  Here are a few photos of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. Hopefully, they convey something of this remarkable place.   Return to South Africa homepage 

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Stellenbosch vineyard

A Chenin Blanc welcome

On Sunday I arrived in South Africa to do a 10-day research trip for the WSET, a fantastic opportunity to see the South African wine revolution at first hand.  The trip has been organised and in part supported by the Wines of South Africa. This is the national body which promotes the wines, funded by a

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Cellar Tracker

Birthday bash

When do you drink those special bottles? Once you have built up a bit of a wine collection, the issue becomes when do you drink those special bottles?  You may only have one of each. Or a bottle you have stored may have become become ridiculously expensive in the meantime. Or a bottle represents a

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La Chapelle 2

Grand Syrah tasting

In June 2016 Andover Wine Friends were treated to a great line up of single varietal Syrah wines.  It was fairly comprehensive (with apologies to N America) and showed what good  wines are being made a range of price levels.  We finished the evening with two older wines, one of them truly outstanding.  I tasted

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