south africa

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Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 14—From the Top to the Bottom, Tourist Style

Posted: March 21, 2007  By James Molesworth

It’s a national holiday here today: Human Rights Day. It’s cooler than it’s been so far on my trip, and summer seems to be finally winding down here. To celebrate the holiday, I allowed myself to be a tourist for a day.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 13—A Vinous Family Tree

Posted: March 20, 2007  By James Molesworth

Walker Bay is about a 90-minute drive from Cape Town, past the well-known wine lands of Stellenbosch, and up over the Hottentot mountains (where a vista point along the road affords a dramatic view of False Bay).

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 12—More Than a Handful

Posted: March 19, 2007  By James Molesworth

Usually when I travel to a region for the first time, I meet with two, maybe three winemakers a day. Today I broke the rules and went for a lucky seven. My first stop was at De Toren , where winemaker Albie Koch has been turning out a consistently polished, outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon–based blend called Fusion V.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 11—From Big to Small

Posted: March 18, 2007  By James Molesworth

It’s Sunday, but no rest for me. First stop this morning was Meerlust , the historic estate that has been owned for over 250 years by the Myburgh family. It’s a gorgeous property, set off the main road as you head into Stellenbosch, with 400 hectares, 120 of which are under vine.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 10—Mr. Precision

Posted: March 17, 2007  By James Molesworth

As I left my hotel this morning, I was greeted by some early-morning rain and high winds on the way to Stellenbosch—the first bad weather of the entire trip. It wasn’t all bad though: A huge double rainbow spread over the Cape Town as we drove out.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 9—A Family Affair

Posted: March 16, 2007  By James Molesworth

Today, I sandwiched visits to two small producers around one big producer—all family-owned. It’s always fun to mix appointments like this and see how different personalities find their own individual space in the wine industry.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 8—Into the Hills (Next Time I'll Bring a Seat Cushion)

Posted: March 15, 2007  By James Molesworth

My day typically starts out with a lively conversation with my driver, Havelin—politics, South African history, local etiquette, languages—you name it, we talk about it. I just roll out of bed, grab an apple on the way out the door, and off we go.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 7—More Time in the Sticks

Posted: March 14, 2007  By James Molesworth

I traveled along more dusty, unpaved roads today as I headed up to see Willie and Tania de Waal at Scali Vineyards, in the Voor-Paardeberg region of Paarl. This small ward only got its designation in 2003, but with Scali and other wineries like Sadie Family in the neighborhood, you'll probably start hearing about it soon.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 6—A Vineyard Safari

Posted: March 13, 2007  By James Molesworth

“You’ve seen enough of the fancy Stellenbosch side," quipped vintner  Charles Back  of Fairview Wines when he picked me up this morning. "So I thought I’d take you to see the ‘other side’ to see some real vineyards.

News & Features  :  Winemaker Talk

Winemaker Talk: David Finlayson

One of South Africa's youngest and most prolific winemakers makes outstanding reds and whites at Glen Carlou

Posted: March 13, 2007  By James Molesworth

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 5—The Country’s First Classic Wine?

Posted: March 12, 2007  By James Molesworth

Today, I spent time with Marc Kent of Boekenhoutskloof and David Finlayson of Glen Carlou. Kent makes top-flight Cabernet, Syrah and Sémillon, while Finlayson produces excellent Cabernet, Syrah and Chardonnay.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 4, No Frequent-Flier Miles

Posted: March 11, 2007  By James Molesworth

Today, I spent the day with Jean Engelbrecht, a former commercial airline pilot turned vintner. Engelbrecht (who drives like he’s still flying jets) has become one of South Africa’s de facto ambassadors of wine, along with other high-profile vintners such as Charles Back, Mike Ratcliffe and Ken Forrester, who spend lots of time in the U.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 3

Posted: March 10, 2007  By James Molesworth

Today was spent with Mike Ratcliffe, one of the Cape's young go-getters. He currently runs his family estate, Warwick , as well as Vilafonté , his joint venture with California winemaker Zelma Long. Warwick is on a nice saddle of land between the Kanonkop and Klapmutskop, two hills that stretch out from Stellenbosch.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

South Africa: Day 2

Posted: March 9, 2007  By James Molesworth

Today started off with a tour of L’Ormarins estate, where Johann Rupert has taken charge of his family’s wine business, following after his late father and brother. Nestled in the warm Franschhoek valley, L’Ormarins sits beneath the majestic Drakenstein mountains, with sprawling horse pastures at the bottom part of the estate and vineyards carved out of the hillsides further up.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

In the Cape: Day 1

Posted: March 8, 2007  By James Molesworth

Well, I finally made it. In transit for two days, and not a hitch—that’s got to be a modern-day record for commercial air travel. After landing in Cape Town, I spent my first hour crawling through traffic on the way to my hotel.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Heading Off on a Long Trip

Posted: March 6, 2007  By James Molesworth

Well, I’m off to South Africa. Marvin finally agreed to send me—probably because he got sick of me talking about it, and he just wanted me out of his hair for a few weeks! It’s been a while since a Wine Spectator editor made an official visit to the Cape—not since my colleague James Suckling was there shortly after apartheid ended in 1994.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

Tasting Highlights: South African Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc

Great values can be found in a range of styles

Posted: February 9, 2007  By James Molesworth

News & Features  :  New Wines, New Faces

New Wines, New Faces: Capaia

The South African winery started with help from an Italian leader, but found its footing with the help of a Bordeaux icon

Posted: February 1, 2007  By James Molesworth

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

Tasting Highlights: South African Chenin Blanc

South Africa's workhorse grape deserves more attention

Posted: January 29, 2007  By James Molesworth

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

Tasting Highlights: South Africa, Part 2

Syrah and other Rhône varieties are among the Cape's most exciting new releases

Posted: January 19, 2007  By James Molesworth

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