Tim James: On the demise of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative

One of the more pleasing things about South Africa’s generic marketing in the last decade has been the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (associated with the World Wildlife Fund). It’s gone far beyond public relations bluff and has achieved significant gains: many farmers have been encouraged to adopt biodiversity-friendly practices and also to set aside areas […]

March 23, 2015
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: Bulk vs bottled

The question of exporting wine in bulk, and packing it in bottle or box in Europe has risen again. It roused heated discussion here in 2012, after the trend towards bulk exports was becoming increasingly marked and it seemed the government was contemplating a retaliative demand that whisky should be imported here only in bulk. […]

March 16, 2015
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: Older whites

A little adventure with older local white wines began with Steenberg Semillon 2010. Five years is not, however, elderly for a serious, oaked wine from a variety which always takes a few years to show its best, even more than most. Perhaps that need for some maturity is why semillon is perennially under-appreciated by wine-drinkers. […]

March 9, 2015
by Tim James
with 5 Comments

Tim James: Does wine feature in the perfect mustard?

I can’t be alone in never having (till recently, that is) wondered about the etymological and historical connection between “mustard” and “must”: on the one hand the condiment that comes in a variety of guises, and on the other the freshly pressed juice, skins, stalks etc produced in the first stage of vinification. I discovered […]

March 2, 2015
by Tim James
with 2 Comments

Tim James: Cape Vintner Classification – a year or so on

Over a year ago – in December 2013 – a new association of Cape wine producers was formed: the Cape Vintner Classification (CVC). Most observers were uncritical in reacting to what seemed to me mostly empty rhetoric, and enthusiastically applauded its promise “to build South Africa’s reputation as a producer of world-class wines and to […]

February 23, 2015
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: On what constitutes a wine expert

The piece I wrote a week ago on Arendsig (and incidentally Robertson) received plenty of comment, some of it evidencing at least a bit of irritation. Which is fine; I’d realised it was going to be a controversial piece in part. But the responses did make me think more, as I hope all those who […]

February 16, 2015
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: On Arendsig and the general state of Robertson

Robertson’s contribution to the Cape’s wine revolution of the past few decades has not been notable. True, amid the dullness are bright spots (some chardonnays and sparkling wines especially), though little really glitters apart from Graham Beck bubblies; there are a few decent estates (De Wetshof, Graham Beck, Springfield) but they’ve been around for a […]

February 9, 2015
by Tim James
with 19 Comments

Tim James: On the Hemel-en-Aarde Winegrowers’ Pinot Noir Celebration

Some months back on this website,  I doubted whether local pinots are world class to the extent that local white blends, sauvignons and syrahs are world class (see here). Aren’t we overrating pinot here, I wondered? That was shortly before the announcement of four pinots getting five stars in Platter 2015. All four of those […]

February 2, 2015
by Tim James
with 3 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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