Entries by Frank

Business Day, 17 June 2020

As recently as the 1980s the South African wine industry, extrapolating from the diversity of the Cape floral kingdom, suggested that most cultivars did well on most estates. As a corollary (so the story went) pretty much every vintage was as good as pretty much any other vintage. To be fair, some of the bigger […]

Business Day, 15 July 2020

It’s been a real winter, the kind that a few years ago was remembered with nostalgia when the Cape was without rain and Johannesburg was so warm that everyone feared the seasonal bugs would survive till spring. Inland the weather’s been really icy, so now instead of the cold weather wiping out infections, we fear […]

Business day, 8 July 2020

It used to be fashionable to point out that although the Cape wine industry prided itself on its red wines, its whites were much finer. This, so the cynics with more than a passing interest in sport liked to observe, was not unlike the national obsession with Springbok rugby, no matter how bad, at a […]

Business Day 1 July 2020

Even before Covid hit our shores it was clear that the Cape wine industry was sailing into the eye of a storm. Bulk prices, which had been easing their way upwards through the drought years had peaked, and were starting to fall. The domestic market – even pre-Covid – was fragile. Adding the impact of […]

Business Day, 24 June 2020

Authentic wine is about site. For a winemaker, this means access to vineyards (rather than lug-boxes full of grapes). In the past, this connection between land and finished product was pretty much taken for granted. Until wholesalers and cooperatives made their appearance, there was no market for grapes. To be a grape-grower meant also to […]

Business Day 10 June 2020

Pretty much since the end of South Africa’s political isolation the industry’s sages and savants have been trying to find a way of elevating the stature of Cape wine abroad. Inspired by the role played by Penfold’s Grange in raising the profile of the Australian wine industry, many thought that what we needed was an […]

Business Day 3 June 2020

So Prohibition is over – at least for now. However, when it comes to buying your favourite tipple, be cautious about assuming that the National Control Command Council (NCCC) has permanently abdicated its self-appointed role as the guardian of the nation’s appetites. Time will tell: meanwhile, for the first time in nine weeks – and […]

Business Day, 27 May 2020

Old wine is not to everyone’s taste. A whole generation of winemakers have grown up assuming that the primary flavours of youthful wine is what the market wants. The result has been a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don’t know or understand the taste of old wine, it’s unlikely you will care to make wine which […]

Business Day, 20 May 2020

On Sunday the grande dame of the world of wine celebrated her 95th birthday. The fact that May-Eliane de Lencquesaing’s anniversary took place in Stellenbosch is only partly due to the pandemic. Her connection with the Cape goes back to the mid-19th century when her English great-great-grandfather, en route to London from the Philippines, stopped […]

Stelvin 13 May 2020

Michael Nash is an Australian from an IT background with a deep interest in Cape wines. He had planned to direct a luxury wine tourism programme to South Africa before the incompetence of our tourism authorities – rather than Covid-19 – put paid to the idea. This doesn’t mean that he’s given up drinking the […]

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