WanderCurtis Wine

Wine tastings, corporate events, reviews and recommendations

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South Africa: Reyneke Wines, Stellenbosch.

Johan Reyneke

Mostly when I ask winemakers about what they are doing to be more sustainable and to reduce their environmental impact the answer is all about stewardship of the land; vineyard practice, avoidance of pesticides, and perhaps a bit of onsite recycling. All good stuff, but as the drive towards Net Zero Carbon builds obviously the wine industry also needs to step up and make a start down this road.

Challenging though it may be, without plotting a route and taking the first step, the target will never be reached.  Equally we consumers need vote with our wallets and make it clear we care, not just about how tasty the wine in our glass is, but also about the journey has taken to get there.

Happily, there are some great wineries out there, leading the way on sustainability and one of them is Reyneke Wines in Stellenbosch.

Since the early noughties Johan Reneke has been working towards achieving the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social and economic.  As he eloquently argues, how can a wine be beautiful if there is ugliness, in the form of glaring social inequity, involved in its making? He also makes the point that only a financially healthy business is going to be able to achieve any sort of environmental and social goals.

Johan sees Biodynamic farming as part of a larger picture of regenerative farming. Agriculture is one of top five contributors to climate change but regenerative agriculture actually provides the opportunity to turn this around. It can actually sequester carbon back into the earth by improving soil health and increasing humus content. Another win is by moving away from monoculture biodiversity can also be improved.

Reyneke works with nature to maintain vine health without recourse to chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. This ‘land caring’ element of the approach uses for example dandelions and other cover crops to provide a preferential home for pests. It also involves ducks trotting around the vineyards hoovering up snails.

Land within the farm is also ‘spared’ so that there are pockets of wilderness left between the vineyards which are rich in flora and fauna.  The farm’s herd of cattle currently roaming in pasture below the winery, are let into the dormant vineyards over winter to fertilize them. In a lovely example of the vineyard’s circular like economy the winery produces feed for the cows in the form of the grape pressings which according to Yohan they love!

Looking back towards False Bay with the farm herd of cattle in the foreground.

Improved soil health and biodynamic farming has made the vines more resilient to pest, fungus and drought and so by extension perhaps some of the other effects of climate change?

As we visit the Reyneke wine farm is currently being extended into a neighbouring farm recently acquired.  Some of the vineyards are being kept and some replanted. One can see where strips running along the contours of the hillside are being set side for biodiversity corridors between the vines.  Old vines are piled up and will be turned into bio-charcoal that will be mixed in with the soil, locking in the carbon long term.

New vineyards in preparation. A pocket of Fynbos top left, horozontal lines on the hill side mark out future biodiversity corridors

When looking at the road to net zero carbon any organisation needs to look at its Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.  Scope 1 emissions are C02 emissions arising from operations directly controlled by the organisation. Scope 2 are emissions up stream caused indirectly by the organisation when it buys in goods and services from elsewhere, for instance electricity or bottles. Finally scope 3 emissions are those downstream arising from the activities of distributors and consumers transporting, consuming and disposing of goods.

At Reyneke the farm is now carbon negative but Johan continues to look at the winery operations. He is investigating renewable energy in the form of photo voltaic (PV) panels, possibly in combination with electric tractors which could double up by providing some energy storage too.  The Cape is lovely and sunny but electricity is currently rationed in ‘load shedding’ which adds another reason for moving off grid.

Reyneke is also trailing the use of Tetra Pak type packaging as an option, starting with their entry level organic wines in Scandinavian countries who seem more open to the idea.  Clearly there is a challenge here in shifting negative consumer perceptions of ‘bag in a box’ type wine.  Moving away from bottles would deliver valuable reductions in carbon footprint in terms of packaging and transport.

A non-interventionist approach follows through into the wine making. Instead of temperature controlled stainless steel and yeast inoculation at Reyneke wild fermentation in oak barrels is the order of the day. The wooden containers and smaller volumes successfully manages the temperature during fermentation in a passive way. The wild yeast and breathability of the oak also give a different character to the wines in particular the Sauvignon Blancs.

Johan’s story is so fascinating, and the challenges he and his team have taken on are so inspiring that this intro’ section could easily run on and on so let’s get to the wines, which do not disappoint!

Reyneke Sauvignon Blanc 2021

On the nose, hay, a touch of gooseberry, a whiff of custard. Good body with lovely balance and freshness. A nice supple mouth feel, white peach, exotic fruit pineapple, creamy gooseberry fool. Complex with good length a wine that evolves. Excellent. (Tasted at the farm and again back in London with consistent results)

Reyneke Reserve White 2020.

This is also 100% Sauvignon Blanc. The reserve is made from selected pockets of grapes within the vineyard which have their own character. It gets 24 hours on the skins and the new oak barriques.

More stone fruit on the nose also a bit of hay and a subtle touch of vanilla. Lovely textured mouth feel, more peach and bit of toast, rich but balanced, great length. Neither of these wines are your identikit new world SBs, much more interesting and complex.

Reyneke Chenin Blanc 2021

The vineyards here are part of the South African old vine project so more than 35 years old.

The nose is floral and nutty. In the mouth apricot, honey and a slightly salty finish. Vibrant.

Reyneke Syrah 2019

On the nose, sweet blackberry, dried herbs and crushed pepper. In the mouth dried black fruits, iodine, ripe tannins, full bodied but fresh.  Long. (Tasted at the farm and again back in London where the wine benefited with time in the glass.)

Reyneke Reserve Red. 2019

The wine is 100% Syrah and again from selected parcels of the vineyard.

On the nose, blueberry pie, ripe fruit, pie crust, vanilla, coffee grounds, fresh garigue herbs. Iodine? Ripe blue and blackberries, powdery tannins, a herbal liquor note, savoury notes of grilled meat, full body and fresh acidity. Complex and very long. So good now that it will be hard to keep ones hands off this to let it mature! (Tasted at the farm and again back in London where again the wine benefited with time in the glass.)

Cornerstone 2019

A blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon in this vintage.

The wine is named after the Cornerstone project.  Johan sees the workers as the cornerstone of the business, farm workers generally receive low wages as there is high unemployment and viticulture is the least profitable part of the industry. Scheme aims to empower workers with housing and education using profits from the winery.

Classic cassis, black current leaf, black current jam and a touch of sawdust on the nose. Austere at first, black fruits, green pepper, coffee grounds, slightly drying grainy tannins. Tasted again in London it opens up and fruit fills out the palate with bit of air. Still fairly primal at this young stage but good potential.

There is a vibrancy and depth to these wines which is compelling and it’s a quality that the Wander Curtis team have noticed on multiple occasions in other Biodynamic wines by producers such as Felton Road and Chateau Pontet-Canet. On every level there is definitely something to Biodynamic wine making.

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South Africa: Constantia and Hemel-en-Aarde

Not only does wine making in South Africa go back a very long way but winemaking in the Cape actually has a birthday: 2 February 1659! On that day Jan van Riebeeck recorded in his diary “Today, praise be to God, wine was made for the first time from Cape grapes.’

Sent by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, to establish a staging post to supply ships on their way around the Cape of Good Hope, Van Riebeeck lost no time on the important business of planting vines and making wine.  Apparently was essential to the treatment of sailors with scurvy.  Yet more historical evidence of the health benefits of red wine!


Constantia lays claim to have the oldest vineyards in the southern hemisphere dating from 1685 when Simon van der Stel, the Cape’s first Governor established a farm on the southern slopes of Table Mountain facing False Bay.   False bay is of course a ‘real’ bay, it was just the wrong one from the point of view of sailors returning from India when they realised that they hadn’t quite reached the Cape Bay and still had to round the treacherous Cape of Good Hope.

Vin de Constance has since been revived by Klein Constantia and Groot Constantia also makes a sweet Grand Constance.  However, the comparatively cool climate, elevated altitude and generous rainfall (twice that of London apparently) means that modern Constantia is now home to a wide range of red and white varieties.

Where Van Riebeeck’s relied on enthusiasm Van der Stel brought to bear some viticultural knowledge and his name is firmly stamped on the Cape winelands. Quite literally as he named Stellenbosch town after himself and the imposing back drop of Simonsberg mountain serves as an ever present reminder.  The wines of Constantia attained international acclaim in the late 18th and early 19th C boosted by the war between France and England which made French wine hard to get hold of.  Famously Napoleon’s suffering during his exile on St Helena was greatly eased by a steady supply of Vin de Constance.  The wine at the time is thought to have been sweet and quite possibly fortified. Once there was peace and a trade agreement between England and France the market for Vin de Constance diminished and in the end the vineyards did not survive the onset of Phylloxera.

Groot Constantia

Groot Constantia (pronounce the G as if you are clearing your throat) is the largest part of the Van de Stel’s original farm.  A trust now owns the estate and it is even a National Monument.  The old Cape Dutch style farm house houses a museum which tells the story of the wine farm. Simon van der Stel’s mother was daughter of a freed Indian slave and after him Johannes Colijn, who heralded in the heyday of Vin de Constance in Europe, was also of mixed race.  The exhibition gives a sobering understanding of the part that colonisation and slavery played in the history of the farm and Cape’s wider wine heritage.

An easy drive from Cape Town the history, wine, restaurants and beautiful setting make the estate well worth a visit.

Rose 2022

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc made with minimal grape skin contact. Pale orange pink colour.  Nose of honey dew melon. Nice balance, peachy notes and good freshness.  Easy drinking in the sunshine.

Sauvignon Blanc 2022

Constantia has a reputation for fresh Sauvignon Blanc. Floral nose with elderflower blossom and a touch of grassiness. Again good balance, melon and tropical fruits flavour, fullish body but with freshness.

Chardonnay 2021

Smokey vanilla nose. Lemon, vanilla, spicy wood, full boded mid-level acidity and medium length. Tasty ‘new world’ style.

Gouverneurs Reserve White 2020

A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon partly aged in new oak Barrique.On the nose green pepper, hay, meadow flowers, herbs, tarragon. Fullish body, mid-level acidity, dry herbs, hay, grapefruit pith. Complex with very good length and a lovely citrus persistence.

Lady of Abundance 2018

A red blend of Pinotage, Merlot, Shiraz and Tannat.Mixed macerated red and dark fruit nose. Ripe plum, blackberry, clove and toast favours with soft tannin. Easy drinking.

Merlot 2018

A nose of classic plum and milk chocolate and a whiff of vanilla. Ripe capsicum, red fruit, soft tannins, medium length. Tasty.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Initially mulberry, then a leafy green aroma. Touch of strawberry, dried cranberries. In the mouth more dried fruit, nice chalky tannins, medium body, good acidity. Reasonable length. Give it a year or two and this should round out nicely.

Pinotage 2020

Baked dark plum with ferrous notes and a sprinkle of cake spice. Rounded full body but not flabby, more spicy baked blackberries, finishes with sweet fruit and is quite long.

Shiraz 2019

Plush fine oaky nose, iodine and dried cherry. Good balance and length, dark cherries, hint of blood, good length. Firm tannins sit squarely on the tongue, this should age quite nicely.

Gouverneurs Reserve 2028

A Bordeaux blend. Plums, cedar wood, milk chocolate, nice furniture polish. very Claret like. Mix of red and black fruit, Black Forest Gateaux, great balance and a long savoury finish!  Excellent.

Grand Constance 2017

Made from Muscat d’Frontignan the white Muscat is complemented with a small percentage of red Muscat.

Burnt orange colour. On the nose orange peel, ginger powder, dried apple, cinnamon, cake spices, furniture polish. Lusciously sweet but with enough lift to keep it fresh. A strangely a floral note, rose water or something like that and more dried orange. Very long.


Hemel en Aarde is known for growing Burgundian grapes and is divided into three areas: Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, closest to Walker Bay, Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley further up the valley and Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge the highest area in terms of altitude.  Each area has different soils and micro-climates.

The received wisdom is that in the lower section clay soils produce broader more structured Pinots, the decomposed granite in the Upper part results in a crunchy, elegant style and due to the altitude and recurrence of some clay the Ridge produces something in between. That said many other wines are also produced here including some crisp Sauvignon Blancs and Rhone blends.

Overall the region’s proximity to Walker Bay, the cold Benguela current as well as the prevailing Southeaster results in a particularly strong cooling maritime influence. Hemel-en-Aarde also has higher than average rainfall.

Hamilton Russell was the first winery in the area, the eponymous owner was looking for land and was attracted by the cooler climate. A risky move back in the 1970s as the vineyards had no quota for wine making under the then restrictive rules and so winemaking was technically illegal. Having planted a wind variety of grapes including Pinot and Chardonnay they eventually restricted wine making to just these two varietals.  The winery has spawned several other neighbouring wineries as successive winemakers have left to set up their own ventures in the valley, these include Buchard Finlayson, Creation and Storm wineries.

The Wine Village, Hermanus.

At the bottom of the valley in the whale watching town of Hermanus is the Wine Village store with is a treasure trove of South African wines and will ship overseas.

Stephen was on the counter and let me taste Hamilton Russell Vineyards’ 2021 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  Both from the Valley were beautiful rich, structured, and perfectly balances wines with lashings of fine oak. Immediately pleasurable for such young wines which for me puts them in the New World but with a level of Burgundian understatement.

Newton Johnson Family Vineyards

Newton Johnson is located in Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley located in a beautiful spot with spectacular views.

Resonance 2019

75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% oaked Semillon. Flinty nose, gooseberry, Semillon gives the wine a nice body, good length with a slight toasty finish. Very nice.

Albariño 2021

The first planting of this grape in SA were here at Newton Johnson. Made 20% in old oak barrels. Floral notes with sea breeze, a nice saline note in the mouth, fresh. A bit more breadth than you would find in a Spanish version but no shortage in bracing acidity.

Family vineyard Pinot Noir 2020. 13.5%

A blend of several vineyards including Sea dragon and Windandsea each bringing different characteristics to the wine. On the nose red soft fruit, some nice vegetal notes. In the mouth sweet fruit, more herbs, delicious rounded body, good freshness, and a lovely long finish.

Full Stop Rock 2020

79% Syrah and the rest Grenache grown in decomposed rocky granite. The wine is aged in 5% new oak barrels and the rest used for18 months. Blackberry, ripe fruit forward nose. In the mouth ripe sandy, rounded tannins, very approachable now. Long.

Granum 2016.

A blend of 75% Syrah and Mouvedre. Darker colour.  Black fruit, meatiness, oxo cubes on the nose. A nice stoniness, more ripe black fruit and savoury notes. Full bodied developing some earthy notes.

Boekenhoutskloof have also started making a Chardonnay and Pinot under their Cap Maritime label from vineyards in the  valley.  See the full review of this winery posted separately.

Wines of South Africa podcasts

Finaly just a quick shout out for the excellent series of podcasts that Jim Clarke and the Wines of South Africa (WOSA) have made. Packed with regional information, interviews with winemakers and some really interesting historical background these and Jim’s book really are essential further reading. To access the podcasts click on the link below.

WOSA Podcasts

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Waterkloof wines Stellenbosch, South Africa, November 21st, 2019, 7pm at Frederick’s Restaurant with Paul Boutinot

We were  delighted to welcome Paul Boutinot founder of Waterkloof.
Paul is originally from Manchester and started Boutinot Wines. He founded Waterkloof in 2004. It is a family owned, organic, biodynamic and WWF Biodiversity Champion farm overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, False Bay near Stellenbosch, South Africa.
I had met Paul recently at a South African wine tasting at Hammer and Tongs 
We instantly hit it off being fellow Mancunians, also I spent a lot of my childhood in Heald Green where his family ran La Bonne Auberge.
His wines took my attention with their meticulous balance and beautiful tannins. After tasting them I found out that the wines are from  Biodynamic vineyards, this didn’t surprise me as they stood out from the crowd.
At other tastings I have recently attended I have marked my favourites, Domaine Zind Humbrecht, Chateau Pontet Canet and Felton Road all produced biodynamically.  I believe there’s something very special about looking after the land in this way.
It was an honour to have Paul talking about himself and his wines. He’s an incredibly humble down to earth chap who is very easy to warm too. Being a Man United fan helps too!
The wines displayed a beautiful balance.
I loved the Circle of white for its great texture balance and length. The Mourvedre with its characteristic savouriness went very well with the Welsh lamb.
Cape Coral Mourvèdre, Rosé 2018
Salmon duet; smoked & avocado; rillettes & pickled vegetables
Circle of Life White 2016
Roasted Welsh lamb rump, potato dauphinoise, spinach, rosemary jus Circumstance
Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Circumstance Cabernet Franc 2016
Apple & blackberry crumble, vanilla ice cream
Seriously Cool Cinsault 2018


Recent review of Circumstance Mourvedre

Waterkloof, Circumstance Mourvèdre 2017 Stellenbosch


“Aged in old 600-litre barrels.
Deep crimson. Not what I expected on the nose – peppery and fragrant, almost floral. Then shows the reductive character of the variety on the palate, but in a good way – smoky, dark and savoury. Even a hint of char. Blind I might have thought this was Syrah. Compact, fine and dry in texture. Lovely but embryonic.
Julia Harding

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Sensational Stellenbosch Day 3

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Sensational Stellenbosch May 2017 , Day 2


This historic winery is situated on the slopes of the Simonsberg mountains.Its name is derived from ‘Koppie’ from which a canon was fired in the 17th century to alert farmers of ships entering table Bay .They have 100 hectares of vineyards mainly pinotage and Cabernet Sauvignon . Focus is on top quality red wines especially Pinotage. Kanonkop is run by 2 brothers Johann and Paul Krige. The family run ethos have resulted in only three winemakers in the last 48 years. Arbrie Beeslaar is the current winemaker whose mother in law I coincidentally sat next to on the flight from London !


Wines tasted

Pinotage Rose 2015

Fresh citrus and raspberries

Kadette Cape Blend Pinotage 2015,Big production 65000 cases smoke toast blackberry

Kadette Pinotage 2015

19000 cases spicy rubber entry level

Kanonkop Pinotage 2014

30 to 60 year old bush wines vines 6000 cases

Complex nose concentrated medicinal herbaceous spicy coffee black fruit soft tannins chocolate

Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

3500 cases cassis black currant leaf

Kanonkop Pinotage 2001

Coffee chocolate medicinal savoury soy sauce soft tannins truffles + lovely a good indicator of what aged South African Pinotage can deliver

Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2013

CF CS Merlot liquorice black currant







Rustenberg was founded in 1682 and is situated at the foot of the Simonsberg Mountains . It’s a Cape gem with beautiful Cape Dutch thatched roofed buildings, a historic gabled manor house , extensive landscaped gardens and vineyards. John X Merriman, a former Cape Prime minister bought the property in 1892. In 1941 Peter and Pamela Barlow bought Rustenberg their sons now run the business

Wines tasted with Willem, marketing manager ( Importer in the  UK is seckfords, available waitrose majestic)

Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Grown at altitude 550m + Can smell from end of table, Pineapple tropical fruit lemons,Crisp fresh ++ aged in lees 3 months

Rustenberg Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2015,Butter toast creamy citrus fermented in oak

Five soldiers Chardonnay 2014,Creamy textured long marzipan citrus nutty crisp +

Rustenberg Grenache 2015,Blueberries red currant cut bunches in half before harvest to concentrated

Rustenberg Merlot 2015,Plummy fruity soft tannins

RM Nicholson 2015 Shiraz blend slight perfume black cherries

John x Merriman 2014,Bordeaux blend,very good structure needs age a little tight Black fruits

Bouzard clouf Syrah,rubber spice pepper mixed herbs liquorice

Peter Barlow 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon,mint menthol cassis firm tannins Still a baby



This fabulous mornings tasting was followed by a delicious lunch at Jordans Estate

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Sensational Stellenbosch. May 2017 – day 1

Our first tasting in Stellenbosch was at the magnificent  Tokara Estate  owned by GT Ferreira , situated  at the crest of the Helshoogte Pass. The exceptional location allows panoramic views over Olive Groves, valleys and Mountains from Simonsberg to Table Mountain. The  tasting room has a huge stone fireplace and contemporary architecture, there’s also a sculpture garden delicatessen and restaurant.





We were greeted by Karl the GM and Suzanne .This stunning property has 60 hectares of vineyards and was built in 1999 with first vintage in 2001. Grapes are sourced from a variety of sites including the lovely Elgin Sauvignon blanc on a site which was a fruit farm. 2007 to 2016 ten year tasting shows exceptional development of these wines Back vintages are stored in a monumental four storey cylindrical cellar hidden behind a vast cast iron door off the tasting room .

Luckily I was inquisitive enough to encourage Carl to not only give us a peek inside but also to sneak out the delightful 2006 Directors reserve Semillon.

Tokara is named after the owners 2 children Distribution is mainly in Holland U.K. Germany. ABS wines distribute in the U.K The German market is very big partly due to historical factors , the Germans colonized SW Africa.25% of  Somerset West has German owned homes


Wines tasted.

Tokara Reserve Collection Elgin 2016 Sauvignon Blanc

Elderflower floral citrus peach , crisp good length persistence balance


Tokara Reserve Collection Chardonnay 2015

Naturally fermented .15% Pineapple tropical fruit .Butter vanilla toast oak 95 points best in SA 27 % new oak .

Tokara Directors Reserve 2014

70 Sauvignon Blanc 30 Sémillon High altitude 500 m Rich barrel fermented textured .wet hay lemons musty earthy

Tokara 2006 Directors Reserve Semillon

Carl plucked from secret cellar Rich pétrolic flinty gunsmoke texture full lovely pickled lemon

Tokara Reserve  Syrah 2013

Crushed spice Violets soft tannins savoury

2013 directors reserve red

Merlot Petit Verdot others Cedar cigar box tobacco . Long lovely soft tannins Long finish

Tokara Directors reserve Potstill Brandy Another special treat from Karl

floral dry fig and raisins





Delaire Graff Estate


The high altitude vineyard on the slopes of Botmaskop was originally a lookout for boats entering Table Bay Harbour .

No expense was spared on their multifaceted property, with   a winery, two restaurants, a lifestyle boutique,a diamond store, a five star lodge and spa transformed by Laurence Graff founder and chairman of Graff Diamonds International Ltd.

The cellar is one of the most advanced and well equipped in the Southern Hemisphere the first wines made in 2008.

Wines Tasted on the terrace


Cabernet franc rose 2016

strawberry crisp fresh finish

Delaire Graff Sauvignon Blanc 2015

beautifully fresh hint gooseberry and lemon

Delaire Graff  Sauvignon Blanc coastal cuvée Olifants river 2015

3 km from sea has 4% sémillon Franschoek Textured structured great mouthfeel length gooseberry tropical fruit

Delaire Graff Banghoek reserve Chardonnay 2015

vanilla peaches toast long 10 months French oak barriques seductive nose long lingering finish

Delaire Graff Swartland Chenin Blanc 2015

Honey citrus

Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2015

Alcohol stands out Tomato leaf nose cassis soft tannins Needs another year or more




Kleine Zalze Estate


Winemaking dates back to 1695 . Now run by ex lawyer Kobus Basson with extensive renovation and modernization.The property includes an 18 hole golf course a luxury residential developments a boutique hotel and a top Provençal inspired restaurant

Terroir Dinner with Anthony van schalkwyk atTerroir restaurant

Four clearly defined ranges exist . the foot of Africa range , The cellar selection range , the vineyard range and their flagship family reserve range.

Wines tasted with dinner

Vintage 2009 Blanc De Blanc Methode cap classique.

Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2015

Family Reserve, Cabernet 2012

Family Reserve Shiraz 2012

For full tasting notes see details from our wine dinner in London with Kleine Zalze .

I highly recommend this as a destination to base yourselves in Stellenbosch, complete with infinity pool , majestic views , mountain bike trail , excellent restaurant and easy access to wineries .

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Singing in the rain at Groot Constantia

My long awaited trip to South African began at this historic  Cape wine estate dating back to 1685 .
The first rains for three months were greeted with great glee at Groot Constantia Estate.
After a long dry summer drought the parched earth lapped up the rainstorm.
Their passionate winemaker Boela lined up a
delightful run of wines.
CEO Jean Claude joined us with a history lesson
followed by a tour of the  finest surviving Cape Dutch Architecture
and the oldest Manor House in the country.
Wines tasted
Blanc de Noirs 2016 a wonderfully fresh rose
with 3 or 4 hours of skin contact
with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Sauvignon Blanc /Semillon 2016 herbaceous with added texture
Sauvignon Blanc 2016 melon passion fruit crisp and dry finish
Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 cassis tomato leaf and ripe tannin
Pinotage 2015 savoury Umami soy sauce and smoky . Good finish
Shiraz 2015 pepper spice good core of black fruit long finish , lovely
Gouverneurs Reserve 2014 ripe plums vanilla cedar firm tannins ,
a little closed needs a few more years and a good long decant , great potential.
Grand Constance 2014. Aromatic ripe apricot lavender,
fresh black tea leaves rich lush with very long length , delicious, a marvel
We had Lunch at Jonkerhuis with Cape Malay influenced dining.
 After overeating we took a  stroll up into the autumnal vineyards
which gave us wonderful views over False Bay making it clear why
Simon Van Der Stel chose this beautiful  valley over three centuries ago.

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Wines of Kleine Zalze, Stellenbosch, South Africa with Anthony van Schalkwyk . Fredericks, March 10th 2016

South Africa’s wine making history stretches back to the 17th century. The  Cape’s current wine scene is dynamic,  the quality and value of South African wine is outstanding, producing many different styles of wine.

We presented the range of Kleine Zalze award winning , lively full bodied terroir driven wines with a three course matched menu at Fredericks on Thursday 10th March .

We were delighted to welcome Kleine Zalze Vice President of Sales and Marketing Anthony van Schalkwyk who talked us through the following wines

•         Sparkling Methode Cap Classique NV

•         Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc 2014

•         Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Shiraz Mourvèdre Viognier 2012

•         Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2014

•         Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Cabernet 2010

•         Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Pinotage 2009

•         Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Shiraz 2010


For anyone interested  a Cape Winelands experience Kleine Zalze  lodge has breath-taking views of the Stellenbosch Mountains, surrounded by 120 hectares of vineyards and the championship ‘De Zalze Golf Course’.


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South African Wines at High Timber Restaurant – Friday Evening June 28th

With  Jo and Claudia of Wines of South Africa ,we tasted 28  wines, with a three course dinner( main course of 28 day matured sirloin ) and drinks reception (Jordans Riesling) on the terrace , at the fabulous High Timber Restaurant on the banks of the River Thames.It’s founders are Gary and Kathy Jordan of Jordans Wine Estate , South Africa.Neleen Strauss co-owner treated us royally, the food and service at High Timber excellent.

Wines included  the following ;

Whites – Howard Booysen Riesling,Boer and Brit Sauvignon Blanc,Steenberg sauvignon,SAAM middleburg Chenin Blanc,Radford Dale Chenin,Delaire chardonnay,Journeys End chardonnay,Beau Constanta Viognier,Steenberg Magna Carta, FMC Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc

Red– Radford Dale Pinot Noir , Crystallum Pinot, Crystallum Hemel en Aarde Valley pinot noir,Journeys End Merlot and Cape Doctor,Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage,Keermont Syrah,Radford Dale Syrah,Anthonij Rupert 2007,Kaapzicht steyler vision 2008,Holden Manz big G.

We were really lucky to be able to try such a huge selection of great wines

which showed the great variety and quality of South African wine.Full write up and tasting notes

to follow.