Tim James: On SA’s oldest red-wine vineyard

Around 120 years ago – let’s say in 1900, to fit with the formal record, though that was made later – a vineyard was planted on the outskirts of Wellington, alongside the dirt road down which ox-wagons laboured into town. The first and unanswerable question is – why? These were bad times in the Cape […]

April 3, 2017
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: Thistle & Weed Duwweltjie Chenin Blanc and the issue of packaging

The first and undoubtedly most important thing to be said about the maiden release from Thistle & Weed, a wine called Duwweltjie and from the 2016 vintage, is that it’s very good. It’s yet another instance of the Cape’s great resources, both of chenin blanc and of ardent young winemaker-viticulturist teams ready to make a […]

March 27, 2017
by Tim James
with 6 Comments

Tim James: Wine criticism and conflicts of interest

Like all tasters for the Platter Guide I recently received the customary “Declaration of interest and confidentiality” for signing. As usual (though one year I went to the trouble of trying to fully understand the many clauses), I duly and dully signed and returned it. It’s a necessary and important part of the process, this, […]

March 20, 2017
by Tim James
with 2 Comments

Tim James: Abrie Beeslaar and his various takes on Pinotage

Pinotage, so long the prisoner of its own conservative socio-cultural significance (as well as of inappropriate sites and winemaking), is starting to appear in more modern Cape guise – with fresh, exciting versions from Fram, David & Nadia, B Vintners and Spioenkop, for example. But the grape has no more eloquent expression, I’d suggest, than […]

March 13, 2017
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Tim James: On the unusual pleasure of sweet wine

Perhaps strangely, given an admittedly sweet tooth, I seldom drink late harvest wines – and can’t remember when I last bought one. They can be marvellous, of course, but given the choice I would always choose a fortified sweet wine instead. The glass of unfortified that I remember best was my first German riesling Trockenbeerenauslese, […]

March 6, 2017
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: Maanschijn and the continuing Cape wine revolution

And so the Cape wine revolution moves on, its energy undiminished, devouring the generations and bringing forth new ones. To the youngest people coming in as winemakers and viticulturists, Chris Alheit must seem like quite a senior figure in the industry and Eben Sadie a venerable one, if not exactly ancient – with André van […]

February 27, 2017
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: On land and our relationship to it

This past week’s flurry of concern about the threat of sandmining despoiling the viticultural Paardeberg (I trust you noticed – if not, see here) got me thinking a little about love of the land. It’s not an insignificant concept in this country. Certainly I’ve often hear it touted in wine-growing, and I’ve seen many rather […]

February 20, 2017
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

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
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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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