Wine lovers on ‘The Most Luxurious Train in the World’ deserve better

THE PRIDE OF AFRICA. The Most Luxurious Train in the World, they say. Indeed, many would consider Rovos Rail to be one of the jewels in the crown as regards South African tourism. It’s a wonderful way to take in the beauty of the countryside; a rather special kind of safari. But come on now, the winelist needs a shake-up!

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New Constantia bistro and deli promising – but it’s early days still

YAY! AND YET! It was great to hear that there are a couple of new venues to choose from come lunchtime in the winelands of Constantia. Not so great was to discover that at one of them they don’t sell any wine to accompany your meal, and at the other the management is somewhat cheeky… At the Nest Deli on Constantia

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Some top brands stand out more than others at Cape Wine Auction

INTERESTING it was to see the brands involved and what the charitably minded were keen to buy at the 2018 Cape Wine Auction hosted at Rustenberg and Tokara in Stellenbosch. The prime objective of the two-day event is to support children’s education in needy communities of the South African winelands, and to this end the amount raised came to R17.5 million.

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Classic Wine’s Carrie Adams on the line to Mike Froud of Top Wine SA

FOR THOSE who’d like to hear from the person behind Top Wine SA… If you want to listen to a little of what the man has to say about the site – or perhaps you’re just curious as to what he sounds like six years after the launch… Wine critic Carrie Adams of the fine wine and spirit merchant Norman

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Not a moment too soon! Can Lievland be revived to former glory?

LOVELY news it was to hear that the historic-but-neglected Lievland Wine Estate in the foothills of the Simonsberg in Stellenbosch is to be returned to its former glory. At least, that’s the aspiration of the new owners who acquired the 300-year-old, 110ha farm from Dr Susan Colley for an undisclosed sum – presumably in excess of R50-million, given the status of esteemed

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Robertson, Stellenbosch and Constantia dominate SA wine diary in Feb

THE GRAND estate of Rustenberg in Ida’s Valley on the slopes of the Simonsberg will switch to party mode for the annual Cape Wine Auction on Saturday 10 Feb, following the Barrel Auction at Tokara on the 9th, as well-heeled VIPs with big hearts once again vie for wondrous things coming under the hammer in aid of charity. Other top

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Prices of Top 100 SA wines vary big time – even within each class

ACCORDING to Vinpro, an organisation representing thousands of farmers and hundreds of cellars in South Africa, the industry is at a turning point in 2018, faced with the smallest grape crop since 2005 and increasing financial pressure. The national vineyard is in decline – mainly due to farmers uprooting vines and replacing them with more profitable crops, but also because

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Top 20 SA Wineries: 2018 ranking compared to that of 2005

BACK IN THE DAY, when the first SA Wine & Cellar Classification was published, the top producers were Classified as Boekenhoutskloof, De Toren, De Trafford, Graham Beck, Jordan, Kanonkop, Kanu, Neil Ellis, Rust en Vrede, Rustenberg, Simonsig, Stellenzicht, Thelema, and Vergelegen. Thirteen years later, most of these cellars continue at the forefront of the South African wine industry as regards

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2018 SA Wine Classification includes 20 additions to Hall of Fame

BASED ON THE BEST track records in over 30 local and international forums for the assessment of wine quality and interest value over the past 10 years, the South African Wine & Cellar Classifications celebrate the country’s leading outfits – those regularly on top form, their product judged top-notch again and again, year after year. To be eligible for the

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SALT at Paul Cluver… All the more reason to wine and dine in Elgin

WHERE to go for an interesting plate of food, a decent glass of wine and a relaxing ambience come lunchtime in the Elgin basin outside Grabouw. Well, there’s The Pool Room at Oak Valley, and there was Fresh at Paul Cluver… And/but just opened is SALT, taking over from Fresh, with the promise of the best in the district when

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Contenders for 2017 SA Winemaker of the Year include great ‘engineers’

“THE 2000 hectares of old vines that South Africa has is important… It’s part of our history, part of our future, but it’s not going to take our industry forward… What about the other 95 000 hectares!” So reasons Bruwer Raats, applauded as top producer in Platter’s SA Wine Guide, champion of the varieties Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc, outspoken winemaker

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All of the most highly rated South African wines reviewed in 2017

INCLUDING South Africa’s most highly rated wines as reviewed by top judging panels locally and/or internationally in 2017. See HERE for the panels whose reviews counted, or see HERE for all of the top SA wine ratings during the past two years together with details of the accolades. EXCLUDING wines sold only on auction, wines sold only on export markets, wines sold out long

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South Africa’s 20 most successful wines on the world stage in 2017

Bellingham The Bernard Series Small Barrel SMV 2014 5 Stars and 97/100 in Platter’s, double gold at Veritas, gold at Decanter Awards, winner in Shiraz SA Challenge R275pb, DGB, Franschhoek Cellar Blend of Shiraz (87%), Mourvèdre (10%) and Viognier, (3%), WO Agter-Paarl Barrel-fermented and matured in French oak barrels for 14 months Alc 14 % | RS 4.5 g/l |

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Franschhoek Wine Tram now tracks far and beyond to the Simonsberg

AS INTERESTING as the news that the Franschhoek Wine Tram service now includes two double-deckers that can carry more passengers and afford better views of the scenery, is that the rail transport connecting the town with the winelands has been extended to three more estates. Sure, you can hop on an open-sided bus and hop off at a number of estates

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Uber Value SA Wine Guide 2017 – highly rated and under R100 a bottle

OF ALL THE wines to receive very good reviews from one or more of the top panels locally or internationally in 2017, these rank as South Africa’s best value at under R100 a bottle – including some platinum award winners, even some trophy winners. The prices given below are those at the cellar door as supplied by the producers, or approximate retail prices in

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Summary of Top SA Wine Ratings in November 2017 – Best Reviews

TOP WHITE WINE RATINGS CHARDONNAY Bartinney Chardonnay 2016 Chamonix Chardonnay 2016 Confluence Chardonnay 2016 (Julien Schaal) Crystallum The Agnes Chardonnay 2016 Delaire Graff Banghoek Reserve Chardonnay 2016 DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay 2016 Dorrance Cuvée Anaïs Chardonnay 2016 GlenWood Grand Duc Chardonnay 2015 Groot Constantia Chardonnay 2016 Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2016 Hoopenburg Integer Chardonnay 2016 Jordan Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2016 Jordan Nine

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Top 10 places to wine and dine on Cape wine farms – among the vines

According to the critics who wined and dined unannounced and paid for their meals before the 2017 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards were presented, the following are the best restaurants in the winelands of South Africa, i.e. on the farms, among the vines, rather than on the high streets or back roads of the towns and villages that punctuate the Cape winelands. The emphasis

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Boschendal Brut among the Top 10 at bubbly taste-off in France

WE ARE NOT crazy about the name of this competition; a case of lost in translation! Effervescents du Monde reminds some of us about the sort of fizzy fruit salts you might take to sort out a bout of indigestion: ENO! But there are plenty of Champagne and other bubbly houses that participate in this ‘Sparkling World’: the 2017 edition attracted over

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IWSC crowns Kanonkop… but talk about leapfrogging to the podium

TROPHY WINNERS: • Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Merlot 2014 (Bergkelder) • Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay 2015 • Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage 2013 • Nederburg Two Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 • Plaisir de Merle Grand Brut 2014 (Cap Classique Sparkling) • Stellenrust Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2016 ABOVE ARE the names of the most successful South African entries at the 2017 International Wine & Spirit

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Top 18 wines in Platter’s 2018 guide point to obsession with rankings

99/100 in PLATTER’S 2018 Nederburg Two Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Platter’s Red Wine of the Year The Foundry Grenache Blanc 2015 Platter’s White Wine of the Year Klein Constantia Vin de Constance Natural Sweet 2013 Platter’s Unfortified Dessert Wine of the Year Beaumont Starboard NV  (Port) Platter’s Fortified Dessert Wine of the Year 98/100 in PLATTER’S 2018 Cederberg Shiraz 2015

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