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S. Africa

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Promoting S. African Wine in the UK

“I posted a comment on our twitter and facebook page offering guests a complimentary glass of a selected wine with a specific menu item,” says Eva Barkasz, manager and wine buyer at Whits Restaurant, “and received a great response.” As an example, Eva matched a glass of Glen Carlou Chardonnay 2009 with sauteed fillet of […]



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South African Wines – Congratulations to IWC Winner Anthony Hamilton Russell

So excited to read that Anthony Hamilton Russell, from Hamilton Russell Vineyards in South Africa’s Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, won the International Wine Challenge’s (IWC) South African Chardonnay trophy for its 2010 vintage, which Hamilton Russell describes as having an “unusually classic styling for the New World.” I first heard of Hamilton Russell from my local wine […]



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Exploring Wine Tourism in South Africa

  Curious to discover S. African wine? Though imports are high in the UK, it’s often difficult to find wine from S. Africa in the United States, even in a large city like New York. Recently I emarked on a four day trip (four days meeting with producers to discover the styles of wine they […]



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Visiting Producers of the Hermanus Wine Route in South Africa

  So my last visit in South Africa was with five producers located in the Hermanus Wine Route, also known as the Hemel en Aarde Valley, close to the sea. It was a gorgeous summer day (just thinking about it makes me nostalgic as now, just a week later, it is absolutely freezing in NYC) […]



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Visiting Waterkloof in South Africa

  “Dazzling!” This is the only possible word that can describe the Waterkloof winery in Cape Town, an area which is leading the competition for the world’s most tourist-friendly, destination-specific wine region in the world. At Waterkloof, the excitement begins as soon as you see this modern, gorgeously high-tech winery from the roadside and drive […]



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Visiting Shannon Vineyards (aka Downes Family Vineyards) in South Africa

Downes Family Vineyards Sanctuary Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2011 “This looks like an 18th century English cottage!” I remark, sipping a cup of tea while waiting to meet James Downes, who owns Shannon Vineyards in the cool climate region of Elgin (whose wines are sold under the name Downes Family Vineyards in the USA). As an […]



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Visiting La Motte Estate in South Africa

If you’ve been reading headlines in glossy food, wine, and travel magazines around the world, you’ve heard that South Africa is now the coolest wine tourism spot in the world. Why? Beyond the high-quality of the wine which is only now beginning to be widely exported – and the passion of the winemakers – you […]



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Visiting Thelema Mountain Vineyards in South Africa

Ginny, a friendly dog with a rhythmically wagging tale, greets us as we enter the sleek glass doors of the Thelema winery situated on the top of the Helshoogte Pass about six kilometers outside of Stellenbosch. The tasting room is large and spacious, yet what sets the room apart from others we’ve seen is a […]



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Visiting Kanonkop in South Africa

Johann Krige and Abrie Beeslaar in the Tasting Room Kanonkop … I had never quite understood the name until I visited this winery in South Africa and saw the giant cannon near the entrance. It turns out that in the 17th century (yes, “new world” wines can be that old!) the cannon would be fired […]



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Visiting Warwick Wine Estate

  Entering Warwick Estate is like entering a reception for an elegant garden party. Before a guest even tastes the wine in the gorgeously designed tasting room, or in one of the many outdoor venues for a picnic, the stage is set for an afternoon experience. A bit early for our appointment with winemaker Nic […]



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Visiting Glen Carlou & Backsberg

 Arco Laamar & Harry Haddon (checked shirt) “Two wineries being neighborly!” Glen Carlou and Backsberg are neighboring wineries in Paarl who kindly hosted me for a tasting of both wines, then lunch at Backsberg’s lovely al fresco restaurant. Let’s call that the spirit of South Africa, yet it is wonderful to see wineries working together […]



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Visiting Nederburg Winery in Paarl

  South Africa has more than its fair share of gorgeous tasting rooms – yet visiting Nederburg in Paarl, the fabulous scenery upon arrival, the immaculate cool and refreshing entrance to the tasting room, and the appearance of the fun, friendly, and gregarious cellar master Razvan Macici make this an extra-special visit. Of course, the […]



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Visiting Groot Constantia

  Answer quick: is South Africa a “new world” or an “old world” region in terms of wine? Technically, it is ‘new world’ yet when you look at the picture above, taken from the Groot Constantia Manor house built around 1685, it seems very old world indeed. And if such an era seems remote, consider […]



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Tasting Wines of Ken Forrester

 ”So here i am, at Ken Forrester’s 96 Winery Road restaurant in South Africa!” I first met Ken Forrester in New York at a trade event in New York City  focusing on wines from South Africa. During a panel section on Chenin Blanc, I remember how he made a clear point between Chenin Blanc and […]



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Tasting the Wines of DeMorgenzon

Winemaker Carl Van der Merwe   “This Syrah is absolutely incredible!” I am sipping a perfectly balanced Syrah from DeMorgenzon winery in South Africa in one of the most elegant homes I have ever seen, on the top of a gorgeous vine-covered hill overlooking Cape Town, Table Mountain, Cape Point, Cape Hangklip, the Hottentots Holland […]



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A Visit to De Grendel in South Africa

  “So what’s the story with these gorgeous horses?” I ask Charles Hopkins, cellar master at De Grendel wines in Cape Town. It is a gorgeous day, and I am sitting in the bright white tasting room with Charles and Richard Theron, Sales & Marketing Manager looking out at sleek Arab horses, meandering sheep, and […]



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Visiting Constantia Glen in South Africa

  “Welcome!” says Gus C.G. Allen, an owner of Constantia Glen winery in Constantia, South Africa. It is one of the first warm days of the South African summer and Mr. Allen is looking tall and rather like the star of some TV Western against the rugged backdrop of Table Mountain, where his vineyards look […]



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South African Wine Comes to NYC

S africa trio "So how would one remark on the differences between a South African Chenin Blanc and a Loire Chenin Blanc during a blind tasting," one participant wanted to know. The venue was the ultra cool Tribeca Rooftop, an elegant space with wide windows and a terrace in Tribeca where many wine events are […]



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Dinner with Ntsiki Biyela: SA Woman Winemaker of the Year

"So how does it feel to be a winemaker … and given special attention because of your sex? Or because of color …" I  asked Ntsiki Biyela: South Africa Woman Winemaker of the Year. As I tasted through her wines, very impressed at the complexity of flavor and well balanced structure, I couldn’t help but […]