Tim James: A Visit to Shannon Vineyards

The longest row of vines at Shannon Vineyards is just over 100 metres. I’m a bit embarrassed to say that the detail I remember best from a recent visit is probably this rather trivial one – though I spent a few hours with James Downes driving and walking around this beautiful Elgin property. The vineyards […]

October 12, 2015
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: Looking at natural winemaking and “natural sweet” wines

Statistics can be most revealing, of course – but can need interrogating or supplementing if they are to lead one towards a correct understanding. Sometimes it starts the other way round, and statistics must be ransacked to find support for something already known (or suspected). That’s how the little investigative adventure I’m reporting on began […]

October 5, 2015
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: What’s really happening in Cape wine these days?

In the latest post on Grape.co.za, Tim James accuses two important critics, namely Michael Fridjhon and James Molesworth of “misunderstanding Cape wine.” Fridjhon gets taken to task for referring to the Zoo Biscuits collective (incorporating Alheit Vineyards, Thorne & Daughte et al.) as the “lunatic fringe” whereas James “can’t see them as bizarre in any […]

October 2, 2015
by Tim James
with 6 Comments

Tim James: A visit to Spioenkop

Koen Roose led me to a hilltop on his Spioenkop estate in Elgin. All around the vines were thrusting forth little fistfuls of bright green into the spring sunshine, but the wind was gusting mightily – Koen says it seldom ceases here, just changes direction occasionally to bring rain, instead of cool air from the […]

September 28, 2015
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: What makes a good tasting note?

Some years ago I had an enjoyable email correspondence with a Californian named Ian Joseph who objected (unfairly, of course!) to a tasting note of mine as “bulls**t”. We had a good-humoured interchange (see here ), which he trumpingly concluded with an enviable wine description from Russell Crowe in A Good Year: “Bouquet of a […]

September 21, 2015
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: Exploring difference in Cape pinot

One of the great –and perhaps surprising – varietal successes of the Cape wine revolution of the past few decades has been pinot noir. Surprising, because back in the bad old days when pinot was everywhere in the New World known as the “heartbreak grape” and few were convinced that Burgundian supremacy could ever be […]

September 7, 2015
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: Wine and language

English is a pretty bastard language – only about a third of its current word-hoard is derived from the original Anglo-Saxon, and much of that is either very changed or obsolete. The rest is Norse, Norman French, Latin, etc with minor contributions of everything from Arabic (including “alcohol”!) to Zulu. This is a marvellous strength, […]

September 1, 2015
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: Cape white blends – what’s in a name?

“Excuse me, what is a ‘Mediterranean White Blend’?” piped up an Australian voice at blind tasting of Cape Winemakers Guild last week? Good question – as so many of David Clarke’s are. He was referring to one of the category headings which, together with vintage, was all the information we were given to proceed with. […]

August 24, 2015
by Tim James
with 0 Comments
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Wine magazine was published from October 1993 until September 2011 & now lives on in digital form as Winemag.co.za. We cover everything to do with SA fine wine.

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