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Off to S Africa on 2 May…

The Rainbow Nation’s rainbow flag

Roch and I are massively excited to be heading a long way south at the end of this week. We fly from London to Cape Town on Fri night, where we will spend 8 days visiting a wide range of SA’s best producers. We’ll be catching up with folk we already work with like Adi Badenhorst, Cape Heights, False Bay and Springfield. We’re also on the hunt for some new crackers that we’ll be sticking on the new 14-15 list. Wowzers, can’t wait.

We’re hooking up first with my old mate Mike Roets, a finance guy by day and wine producer (Silvervis) by night. He makes his stuff up in the Swartland, about 90 mins north of Cape Town and the big new thing on the SA wine scene. The Swartland is home to much of SA’s old vine stock – esp grape varieties such as Chenin Blanc, Cinsault, Syrah and Grenache. It’s the source of the Secateurs wines we already sell (from producer Adi Badenhorst).

We’re spending Sat-Sun-Mon in the Swartland with Mike, visiting and hanging out with several of the big names up there – Mullineux, Badenhorst, Lammershoek, Eben Sadie and a few others. It’s going to be awesome.

Then on Tue, we head over to Robertson, which lies east of the Swartland, further inland, up on the edge of the arid Karoo region that covers much of the southern part of S Africa. Here, we are visiting 3 producers, before heading down to Stellenbosch in the evening.

Stellenbosch is the HQ of the S African wine industry – a stunning town with old Cape Dutch and Victorian architecture. It lies right next to soaring craggy mountains – this characteristic marks S Africa’s winelands out as one of the most beautiful wine-producing areas in the world. We have tastings in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl on Wed-Thu-Fri (incl a couple of lunch bookings in some of the most spectacularly sited restaurants you will ever eat in), before heading into Cape Town on Fri afternoon to visit another producer in Constantia and catching up with my cousin Emily on Fri night.

We have one more day of wine visits, eating and general loafing on Sat 10th, before flying out that evening. It’s going to be an epic trip. We’ll post some stuff up here as we go along.


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