Tim James: On the potential of Ceres

“These are potentially some of the best winelands in the Cape”, says winemaker Chris Alheit about Ceres, that high-lying inland plateau better known for deciduous fruit, especially apples and pears. He says it both hopefully (because he has some infant vines there and further planting plans) and ruefully – because he knows that wine-grapes are […]

February 22, 2016
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: Fears for harvest 2017

Harvest 2016 proceeds. That is, for some it is happening right now, for others it is yet to come and for many all the grapes are in, and the wine – pitifully little of it in some cases – is in barrel or tank. And occasionally even in bottle: believe it or not, while some […]

February 15, 2016
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: A harvest visit to Alheit Vineyards

It’s seldom that I visit a winery at harvest time. First, because the people there are too busy for me to presume a welcome: Jancis Robinson describes wine writers as parasites on the wine industry, and while grapes are being picked and vinified I particularly feel the point of her admission. Secondly, if the welcome […]

February 8, 2016
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: On the state of wine festivals

I could easily become a wine festival junkie, given the chance – and if I could afford it, though I suppose that a signal point of junkiedom is always managing to fund your fix. Anyway, I can say with pleasure as well as pride – not many can make the claim! – that I’ve attended […]

February 1, 2016
by Tim James
with 2 Comments

Tim James: The effect of the drought in the Swartland

“It’s been a battle!” says Eben Sadie, just a third of the way through his 2016 harvest. In his voice is the hyping up, the adrenalin flow that harvest – and battle – brings, but also weariness. In 18 years working in the Swartland, he says, he’s never seen conditions like this, with implacable drought […]

January 25, 2016
by Tim James
with 2 Comments

Tim James: On the relative nature of natural wine

There are some things which we are sometimes tempted to think of as absolutes but are better appreciated as relative – as existing on or as a continuum. Ripeness, for example. It’s not only the writers of gushing back-labels who believe in the concept of “perfect ripeness”; many winemakers and critics seem to think of […]

January 18, 2016
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: In praise of Portuguese varieties

  It’s just a trivial throw in the great game of “If” – but if the Cabo das Tormentas had been settled by Vasco da Gama and Bartolomeu Dias or other Portuguese explorers, instead of Jan van Riebeek for the Dutch, then our vineyards today (and much else!) might look somewhat different. Though I daresay […]

January 11, 2016
by Tim James
with 2 Comments

Tim James: Calories in wine and other labeling issues

Do you think your wine drinking is making your fat? Ruining your Banting diet? One of Australia’s wine companies thinks it possible, and hopes that their new thing will make them seem appealingly on your side. Treasury Wine Estates (a big business rather more about brands than about estates, of course) recently announced that they […]

December 14, 2015
by Tim James
with 2 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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