A passion for wagons

Just like Mama's, complete with tennis-elbow-inducing driving position.

A little bit of an indulgence as well as the source of all that car trouble - right from the moment when I was three and knew every car on the road (the moment, my Mother says, that they figured I might be quite bright: thanks, Mum, but surely only an indicator of good memory, now sadly deteriorating…!). But if you like cars, you’ll enjoy this, I hope. If you don’t, you won’t.

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Keeping the brandy handy

Keeping the brandy handy means… St. Bernard’s, met or without eish, met or without coke, met or without ginger ale (mine and my Mother’s fave tipples). Brandy means very different things to a whole range of very different people. Particularly in South Africa. But what about the posh stuff - served in brandy balloons – with or without ice (though more on what a bit of water does to brandy just now)? Read on to find out…

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In the PINK at Allée Bleue

Allée Bleue, a wine estate that celebrates a decade of reinvention this year, is marking that achievement with the introduction of – amongst other things – a new winemaker, a new GM, three new wines and the largest conference and event venue in the Winelands. And two of those wines are pink.

But first a diversion. Have you noticed who supplies the fresh herbs to Fruit & Veg City nowadays? It’s Allée Bleue. And, behind own labels, they supply Pick n Pay as well. They are also a major exporter of peaches, plums and persimmons. And now they have pinched the bubbly winemaker from Simonsig and have the largest event venue in the Winelands as well. Who knew?

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Craft beer: should wine be worried?


Last Thursday saw the first ever Craft Beer Festival take place at the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock and, being on the eve of a public holiday, it was filling up as early as 5pm… and reports confirm that it was a bit of a maul later in the evening. As I was there early, I can’t answer personally for the NVH levels later in the evening, but I suspect it was hardly a hushed occasion.

But, dear reader, I was there to taste, not get sozzled. So I restrained myself from taking a pint from each stand because, as there were ten – and over thirty brews to try in all – I would have been under one of the tables very quickly. And unable to tell you very much.

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Talking to Tornado Mostert: Making wine for West Coast ladies

Johan Mostert is a wheat farmer who doesn’t play golf. Instead, he says, he makes wine. Surprisingly good wine. In a fairly unusual place. 100km up the N7 just south of Piketberg, to be precise. He’s not quite alone in his winemaking pursuits – the unmissable ostentation of Org du Rac is just across the road – but his rather more humble set-up is still a fair way from his more numerous Swartland neighbours and a considerable distance from his Olifantsrivier compatriots further north.

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About this Blog

This web log is a collection of personal writings on topics that I’m seriously (some would say, obsessively) passionate about – that includes writing (especially words), marketing (especially branding), tourism (especially local), food (especially cheese), drink (especially wine) and cars (especially BMWs).

We all have our crosses to bear.

If you like the wine and tourism stuff, please visit www.21thingstodo.co.za and www.winetourismsouthafrica.co.za, where some of these articles were first posted.

Thank you for listening…