Franschhoek Uncorked heralds spring (sort of)

With spring comes wine festivals, with Franschhoek Uncorked’s September weekend festival leading the way – and a great day, on Saturday at least, they had for it. Blue skies, much sun and a mood to dispel all that winter rain and gloom. 17 wine farms are open for business all day from 11 till 5, introducing new vintages, discounting old ones, dressing up and playing games, putting on live music and just generally having a good time. What’s not to like?

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Another vintage, another Veritas: Part 2

Medallions of quality: a solid sign for Jo Consumer.

The thing about wine awards is that they’re partial - not in the biased sense, but in the ‘only part of the story’ sense. So you must always be aware that not everyone enters and so, of course, not everyone can win. And some of those who don’t enter are very serious winemakers with very serious records - like Meerlust - or even more recent players with equally serious record - like Oak Valley. Still, the little round medallions are a sign of quality; they’re just not the only sign, that’s all.

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Another vintage, another Veritas

A quality sign to find on your wine.

Wine awards and wine shows are the epitome of the curate’s egg: good in parts. But it’s the parts that you don’t know that make the journey worth the ride. And it’s always in the darkest and most unlikely corners that you find the best examples of bottled sunshine. Read on for a very personal lowdown on this year’s annual Veritas shindig.

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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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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 and, where some of these articles were first posted.

Thank you for listening…