A smattering of news for those who like to hear about winemaker moves – this one involuntary from the winemaker’s point of view, or so I believe. After just a year or two, Chris Kelly is leaving Delaire, that place with the great view from above the Helshoogte pass and a somewhat less than splendid record of achieving stability in the cellar. It was not long ago that Angela Lloyd suggested it would be a good Trivial Pursuit question to ask for the names of all the winemakers that Delaire has had since John and Erica Platter sold the property in 1988. Chris Kelly’s successor (whoever that might be) will now bring the total to nine! A Cape record surely, probably a world one, and not the best way of building a reputation for a wine estate. (In case you’ve forgotten, the incumbents have been: Mike Dobrovic, Chris Keet, Jacques Fourie, Jan van Rooyen, Bruwer Raats, Chris Williams, Gunter Schultz and Chris Kelly. We wish Chris better luck next time.
And talking of Chris Keet, who’s amongst that list – there still seems to be no definite news of what is happening at his last place, Cordoba. (For the rumours and news of a few months back, click here.) A sale that I suspect we will be hearing about sooner rather than later is another co-op going in the same direction as Citrusdal did a few years back – into the capacious pockets of Charles Back. He’s also just swallowed up a few farms adjacent to Fairview. One wonders if it wouldn’t be better for the wine industry as a whole if more and more of it did go into his growing empire. And he seems to hang on to his winemakers somewhat longer than they do at Delaire.