Grape goes into hibernation

Each year for many years now I’ve gone through periods – long or short – when I’ve wondered why I keep this website going. I’m not one of those writers who actually enjoy writing; in fact I often find it a wrenching and difficult process. And, importantly, I am incorrigibly lazy to boot, so why continue? True, Grape has been a sort of shop-window for me, but there so little paid work for local wine writers out there (or it doesn’t come my way); and true, sometimes I have enjoyed it. But on the whole, in recent years it has become something of a chore.

So Grape is going to go into hibernation, at least for a while. Probably I’ll continue to use it very occasionally for something I want to write (or re-publish stuff like  magazine articles), but don’t plan on any more blogs here.

But I do indeed plan to continue writing about wine and wine culture (I’m much more at ease with the latter; tasting notes, let alone the scores that so many people seem to want, are what I particularly don’t much enjoy). The least year or two I’ve been writing a blog every Monday for That will continue and, what’s more, I’ll be doing one every Friday too, as from mid January.

Why write for Winemag and not Grape? Well, I do get paid a very modest fee for that, which has a significance beyond the useful bit of income – it makes me feel obliged, and a regular commitment and a deadline are what I need, I fear, to keep me going.

Grape, in one form or another, has been around for nearly two decades now; this has been a difficult conclusion to come to and I’m sad and reluctant to put it to sleep. So I’m not administering a lethal injection, and it will hang around this space, as an archive at least. I’ve really no real idea how much it has been used by readers – I’m rather proud (I really don’t know why!) that I have never once consulted the tools that tell me about numbers of users, hits, etc – but I do believe that at least a few will miss it, though the ever-fewer posts of late will have eased the process.

And who knows? Perhaps in my old age I’ll be revisited by energy and enthusiasm, and I’ll be back here. Meanwhile I will, as I say, expand my contributions to Winemag, and I will continue to work for Platter’s; and I will continue as long as I’m allowed with the twice-yearly column I have in World of Fine Wine (the only column devoted to Cape wines in the outside world, I believe) and write occasional articles for that splendid magazine and, perhaps, sometimes for others too.

With many thanks to those who have enjoyed, and sometimes been irritated or enraged, by Grape over the years.