Tim James: A visit to Hemelrand

My weighty contribution to Cape wine harvest 2017 has already been made (without getting my hands abominably sticky, fortunately). I must have carried twenty lug-boxes of chenin from the coolroom and piled them onto a pallet to be transported by forklift to the crusher. Surely at least fifteen? Well, at least ten great big heavy […]

February 13, 2017
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: Terroir as possible myth and certain inspiration

Skill and talent is what it’s really all about, but one of the best things about wine is that we think that’s not entirely true. Well, I only partly (though largely) believe that first proposition; the second one I’m more confident about. I wrote last week about tasting five wines made by different winemakers from […]

February 6, 2017
by Tim James
with 3 Comments

Tim James: Pinot noir and terroir in the Hemel en Aarde

Where there’s talk of pinot noir, there’s talk of terroir, and the influence of soil, sun and slope on perhaps the most expressively transparent of black grapes. Inevitably, there was much discussion of this at the annual Hemel en Aarde Winegrowers Association Pinot Noir Celebration, held in the eponymous valley last Friday and Saturday. It […]

January 30, 2017
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: The wines of Johan “Stompie” Meyer

I’ve been happily drinking some of Johan Meyer’s wines this past week. If that name isn’t fully familiar to winelovers, try his ubiquitously used nickname, Stompie. He should be amongst the best known of the second-generation of new-wave Swartland wine-people (taking Sadie, Badenhorst et al as the first). Anyway, Johan “Stompie” Meyer is surely one […]

January 23, 2017
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: Wine and money

Amongst some year-end binge watching (Veep; The People v OJ Simpson) I fitted in some binge re-reading of the art criticism etc of Robert Hughes. Hughes is – or was, I suppose, as he died in 2012 – my favourite Australian, apart, of course, from wine distributor David Clarke and winemaker Mick Craven. A percurrent […]

January 16, 2017
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: On the startlingly different manifestations of SA Syrah

Back in the bad old pre-revolutionary days, when Eben Sadie was at Elsenburg and Chris Alheit and Peter-Allan Finlayson were (I guess) playing barefoot rugby at Bishops, it was always “shiraz”, not “syrah”. And I had returned to South Africa to live in Cape Town and fall in love with wine and the winelands, and […]

January 9, 2017
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: On Stellenbosch Syrah

Which area in the Cape is doing best with shiraz? The Swartland would probably get some serious votes deservedly thrown its way, but so too should Stellenbosch, given the extraordinary rise in the quality of its shiraz in the last five to ten years: with improvements in existing labels as well as new ones. Stellenbosch […]

December 12, 2016
by Tim James
with 4 Comments

Tim James: On the significance of fashion in wine

Fashion in wine is a slippery concept. I realised this as I tried to grasp it, or at least some strands of it, prompted by reading Michael Fridjhon’s recent Winemag discussion about wine-consumption differences between Gauteng and the Cape (see here). The first tricky element is the difference between fashionability and long-term trends – perhaps […]

December 5, 2016
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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