Tim James: Deconstructing terroir – the roles of place, soil and clone

Ambitious producers can’t talk long about their wines without sliding in some reference to terroir, or sense of place. But they can mean very different sort of places, and expressions of them. When Eben Sadie was establishing his Columella and Palladius early this century he was convinced that the Swartland needed blends (of both place […]

July 24, 2017
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: On conceptions of luxury and their relevance to wine

What is gastronomic luxury? In a recent column in the World of Fine Wine, the thoughtful British food writer Francis Percival talks about “two competing visions” in the contemporary restaurant world: on the one hand, “checklist luxury”, which “comes from what the experience contains … the luxury of perpetual filet mignon and lobster”. Then there’s […]

July 18, 2017
by Tim James
with 2 Comments

Tim James: Looking for terroir in the Douro

This century has seen an accelerated move towards specificity in wine everywhere. It’s been very obvious in the Cape, not least: mostly in terms of general “terroir”, but also, for example, expressing soil types (with the Mullineux’s separate bottlings of syrah from schist, granite and iron a paradigm example), or even clonal selections (as in […]

July 11, 2017
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: Bursting Bubbles – book review

More years ago than I like to remember, to celebrate my 21st birthday, I bought half a dozen bottles of a local sparkling wine called Here XVII Souverein. It’s not that I haven’t had a party or two since then, but I think I can honestly say that that was the last time I actually […]

July 3, 2017
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Tim James: On Port and the joys of travel

At the risk of sounding really stupid (”what did this guy think?!”) – it’s taken my first trip to the Douro region of Portugal to properly realise how tiny is the Cape’s “port” category. Smaller, of course, than it used to be back in the old days when the KWV was making vast quantities of […]

June 26, 2017
by Christian
with 2 Comments

Tim James: Kloovenburg on the up

Larger wineries are important to the stability and continuity of a region. Much of the excitement of Swartland wine this century has been generated by young winemakers buying in grapes – but mostly without owning their own land, and often enough without their own cellars. This is changing to an extent, as the revolution matures, […]

June 19, 2017
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: Who makes SA’s best wines?

It’s widely – if not universally – agreed that the Cape’s white wines are on the whole superior to the reds. But I started getting a bit tangled up when I was wondering (prompted by a comment someone made to me recently) about which producers were the best makers of South African reds and which […]

June 12, 2017
by Christian
with 9 Comments

Tim James: Shifts in the national vineyard

Could Robertson soon become known as the Valley of Wine, Roses and Lemons? A wine-producer from the area was telling me recently that Robertson vineyards are being pulled up with increasing alacrity and replaced, in many instances, with lemons. I’ve heard this lemon story before, and it seems (or so I’m told) that the newish […]

June 5, 2017
by Christian
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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