Tim James: On the importance of decent wine glasses

A hi-fi geek friend told me that the first thing anyone eager to improve their sound equipment should do is upgrade all the cabling, especially the speaker wires: it’s comparatively cheap and entirely effective. I can think of two equivalent lessons for beginners in learning to get the most out of their wine. The first […]

May 2, 2016
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: More on the great Chardonnay scandal

Having last week mentioned the great chardonnay scandal of the 1980s (see here), it occurred to me that some people might like to know a little more about an episode that in some ways captures crucial essences of Cape wine in the dour times of apartheid, isolation and KWV rule. Of course, there are also […]

April 25, 2016
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: On old-vine Chardonnay and SA’s murky wine history

There are remarkably few old chardonnay vines in the Cape. On her old-vine website, viticulturist Rosa Kruger lists just one block over 35 years old: less than three hectares, planted in Stellenbosch in 1975; and Rosa isn’t quite sure if that still survives – she’s following it up now. In fact, there’s even more old-vine […]

April 18, 2016
by Tim James
with 7 Comments

Tim James: How a concrete egg hatched Silwervis

It began at the inaugural Swartland Revolution, the story of Silwervis wine, which you probably know of. The story continues into Avant Garde Wines and Terra Cura, which you’ve perhaps not yet heard of yet, but will). It’s a satisfying tale. At that 2010 Revolution’s charity auction, winelover Michael Roets, with no winery but with […]

April 11, 2016
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: In praise of Grenache

Grenache – which if the wine world were fair we’d call garnacha, as it is a Spanish variety, though best known for its voluminous occupation of southern France – has been in the Cape for a century or so in  small way. Only in the past dozen or so years, however, has the variety become […]

April 4, 2016
by Tim James
with 4 Comments

Tim James: On the past and future of SA fine wine

The latest Grape poll on South Africa’s Top 20 wine producers (see here) has had me thinking forwards as well as back. A backward glance first, and a statistic that testifies to the dynamism of the top end of Cape wine: only five of the wineries in the latest list were there on the very […]

March 28, 2016
by Tim James
with 4 Comments

Tim James: On Eenzaamheid and dryland vines

Janno Briers Louw is a hopeful young man – as farmers go. He talks of the problems of this dry vintage and regrets the loss of some old vineyards on the family farm Eenzaamheid, but sniffs the onset of seasonal rain (winter is in the air, he says!), and is excited “about what these soils […]

March 21, 2016
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: On the moon, tides and Waterkloof wines

Every now and then, when I get particularly disgusted at my scientific illiteracy, I grapple with a work of what is kindly called “popular science”. So I’ve just finished James Gleick’s masterly short account of Isaac Newton, eminent grand-daddy, I suppose, of the modern scientific understanding of the universe. By a neat coincidence, I had […]

March 14, 2016
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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