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Why the Swartland Revolution works

Master and disciples.
Master and disciples.

The first session of the Swartland Revolution 2014 featured a presentation by 75-year-old Serge Hochar of famed Lebanese property Chateau Musar plus a tasting of six vintages of his red wines and two of his white. Prior to proceedings getting underway, Adi Badenhorst of AA Badenhorst Family Wines and session moderator, suggested that the audience was in for a “semi-religious experience” and I think a lot of what is happening in the Swartland is premised on exactly that.

300 people from all corners of the globe gathered in a tent drinking wine as a way of showing devotion to a life less ordinary? Hochar himself came up with homily that “wine was invented by God to be the link between him and humanity” while local journalist Tim James suggested that the weekend was at least in part about making connections, in order to escape the prosaic and experience greater sensuality and spirituality. In an increasingly secular world, people are looking for communion outside of a conventional place of worship and my sense is quite a lot of them find it at the Swartland Revolution…


  1. That’s an interesting and thoughtful interpretation, Christian. I think you are probably right, but I also regretfully suspect that for many of the visitors (and one of the Swartland Revolutionaries) it’s more about having a fairly mindless party – something which the organisation of the event seems even to encourage (I myself would prefer an atmosphere with more of the Appollonian mixed in with the Dionysiac – talking of gods). But perhaps that’s not a contradiction of your suggestion either.

  2. I agree with Tim. It is a fine line to tread at the Revolution between having a piss up and actually using it as a platform to learn something about the world of wine. We’ve always been careful about overdoing it on the Friday evening, as there is nothing worse than a wine tasting with a head splitting hangover.

    As for the partying Revolutionary – one has to wonder why he is still put up on the stage. In 5 years I have never heard him say a sensible thing – at R2500 a ticket, I don’t particularly enjoy listening to crap jokes when there is wine to be tasted. It is starting to get rather old.


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