Tim James: On the wine avant-garde and its merits

The Hermanus FynArts festival – held each winter in that once sleepy little coastal resort best known to winelovers as being close to the Hemel en Aarde valley – is mostly about fine arts, as the name implies. But it has a strong food and wine component too, the latter conceived and organised by Melvyn […]

June 5, 2016
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: On white wine in winter

In a fit of virtue last week I was tidying up kitchen cupboards when I made the happy discovery of a rather battered cardboard box with a dozen bottles of rather nice wine. Clearly I’d collected the case from storage and forgotten to do anything with it except put it out of the way “for […]

May 30, 2016
by Tim James
with 2 Comments

Tim James: The remarkably low number of SA wineries – Part Two

Twenty years ago, as the millennium approached, and the Cape wine revolution gathered momentum, the Lammershoek farm on the Paardeberg was still delivering its grapes to the local co-op, where they largely disappeared into the voluminous anonymity of vast blending tanks. Then, after an ownership change, the Lammershoek cellar was recommissioned, and increasingly the grapes […]

May 23, 2016
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: The remarkably low number of SA wineries – Part One

Why does South Africa have so few wineries? And does it matter? To answer the second question briefly: I think it matters a lot: it is symptom and partial cause of some serious problems of quality, price and image for Cape wine. To answer the first question I’d better show first that it is a […]

May 16, 2016
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: The four periods of SA wine history by variety

South Africa has been growing winegrapes for over 350 years without yet coming, as it were, to an firm conclusion, for there has been a continually shifting pattern of varietal plantings that I suspect is matched nowhere else. Much of the story of Cape wine can even be extrapolated from looking at the patterns of […]

May 9, 2016
by Tim James
with 4 Comments

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
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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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