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Tim James attended a celebration  at Meerendal Estate to mark the 50 years since the first bottlings under the estate name and visited the old Pinotage vineyard planted in 1955. Six hectares of bushvines that now provide grapes for the Meerendal Heritage Block Pinotage – the bottles bearing the Old Vines Project Heritage seal. It’s the oldest extant vineyard in Durbanville and one of the oldest
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Warwick Estate was one of the first with a Cape Blend. Three Cape Ladies was a Pinotage based blend and Warwick also produced the well-respected Old Bush Vine Pinotage. Currently though, according to Platter, Pinotage appears only in their Rosé.  Three Cape Ladies 2015 is a blend of Bordeaux varieties only, Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc with Merlot; very similar in cepage to Trilogy,
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Winemakers in the Cape tell me that the 2019 vintage is challenging. Rain, heavy at times and low clouds on hills during the end of March affected late harvested varieties. Where air couldn’t circulate among tight bunches a malady called slip-skin caused skins to fall off grapes. Also, after three years of drought, vines are over stressed and are starting to drop leaves. Cabernet Sauvignon
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One Saturday each month in summer winery owner Pieter De Waal leads an amble upwards through his vines to The Top of The Hill vineyard. There, under the shade of an old wild fig tree he uncorks and pours a bottle of the wine made from that old vineyard. There is now just half a hectare of these 70 year old bush vines that produce 2 – 2.5 tons a of grapes a year, yielding fewer than 3,000
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Aaldering Vineyards saw their first harvest in 2007 with the first release in 2009. Owners Marianne and Fons Aaldering bought the farm, then called Hidden Valley, in Devon Valley, Stellenbosch, in 2004. The Aaldering’s home is The Netherlands where they owned airline catering companies. It was their first winery and Fons knew what he wanted. Only the best. “Nothing but five Platter stars
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Le Vin de François 2017 was launched last night at auction. The location of the annual auction is a secret with not even owner-winemaker François Naudé Snr knowing where his transport will take him. Our car hurtled away from the winelands along the N2 into the heart of Cape Town and stopped by a red carpet where we were greeted by a stilt walker, clown and ring master who showed us to Zip
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My Wine of the Month for January is Beyerskloof Reserve 2005. This is a one-off bottling  from the Groenkloof appellation. Beyerskloof made a small group of appellation specific bottlings that vintage for a European importer. Beyerskloof’s then marketing manager made a presentation of them to my local wine tasting group and we could place orders. This is the last of those I bought. It
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March is Pinotage Month ccording to Chowhound.com in an article titled Try a New Wine Every Month in 2019  and illustrated with a picture of Beaumont Estate's Pinotage A brooding, intense red with dark fruit, smoke, and herbs, try Pinotage on a March day that is more lion than lamb. I'll drink to that.  Incidentally, Beaumont is not the only South African wine in the article. Fairview
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