Gulp. I’d better explain first of all that apart from some DNA I don’t share much with my late and, er, deeply lamented aunt – known to a generation of fearful wine-world people as The Widow. Please believe that I’m much much, nicer than she is (but sadly less astute, and much less familiar with the joys of Madeira – I’m more of a Baronne and sauvignon sort of guy, really). Well, I’m a bit nicer, anyway…. I believe so. In the family we called her, well, pretty much what everyone else called her – don’t think she spared us either.
She died of sorrow and pain (very sensitive, the poor old Widow – nastiness doesn’t preclude that in the least, of course) and I’m still young and don’t want to do that. Nor do I want you to sue me, please. I offer this little occasional blog (thanks, Tim, for the space!) as a tribute to her spirit, however. From time to time, if I have nothing to say that even I think of relevance or vague interest, I might well quote from her archives.
What the Rastas gave to the viticulturist
It was news to me that there are some nifty Rastafarian vineyard workers out and about in the winelands. But I heard tell about how they recently expressed appreciation for some training given them by a leading viticulturist. They gracefully left behind, as a token (or should I say a toke?), a nice, fat, hand-rolled cigarette of the kind that Rastas most like. Needless to say our upright viticulturist has not lighted it. Yet.
There are those, like billionaire Wendy Appelbaum of DeMorgenzon, who believe that piping Vivaldi all over the vines makes them happy. Might well be worth trying having a team of Rastas breathing all over them and seeing the cool effect, don’t you think?
The American presence here is much more extensive than is immediately obvious (forget about the farce of Gallo’s much trumpeted arrival a few year’s back). I wonder if the wicked imperialists are not actually the biggest external exponents of faith in Cape terroir – certainly in terms of putting their money where their tastebuds are. There are a truly remarkable handful of American women winemakers here for a start, and some serious dollars spent.
This only occurred to me incidentally because I had heard about the local ambitions of the big American outfit Kendall-Jackson. First I heard of them in a Cape context a few years back they were wanting to buy land and all that. But now, no. Marikana apparently decided them that the wine was nice here, but politics and labour relations rather less so. I believe there’s a 2013 chardonnay on its way, however, from bought-in grapes. The start of a big thing? Just think how cheap a good Cape vineyard would be at the current exchange rate, and you could probably get a Cap-Dutch house thrown in.
[This blog originally carried on the now-discontinued “Widow’s Nephew” page]