Radio silence thanks to messed-up internet connections. “Welcome to Africa” said one of my twitter friends. It’s rainy and I packed open-toed shoes and flimsy tops. The coffee tends to be instant.
Apart from those three minor details, do you want to know how I feel about South Africa? It’s flippin’ heaven on earth! (Or “Hemel an aarde” in Afrikaans if I got it right, it’s an adorable language that I try to understand with limited success).
The setting, with breathtaking mountain backdrops and a flora to make my mom (a botanist) ecstatic for years, makes for some of the most beautiful vineyards (called “farms”) I have ever seen. And the wines? Talk about getting my prejudices shattered.
In Sweden, South African wines comprise almost a fifth of the sales by volume. Unfortunately, most of it is exported in bulk and sold as Bag-in-Box, which is also what South Africa tends to be known for. Only five percent of the South African wine sold in Sweden is over 10€. A crying shame if you ask me. This week at the CapeWine fair in Cape Town, I have tried so many wines by the bottle that I would be proud to serve at a nice dinner with wine-loving friends. Especially two varietals have impressed – the syrah/shiraz and the oaked chenin blancs. And many at prices I find QUITE attractive. Many local sparklings, nicknamed MCC (Methode Cap Classique, with second fermentation in bottle) are nice at around 10-20€, though not ready to compete with fine champagne. But seriously, in the sun at the prestigious Nederberg Auction, I was not complaining about the Pongracz Brut rosé.
I have posted on Vinbanken from one visit (when I had an hour time and some decent internet). It’s from the first biodynamic farm in South Africa, the excellent Reyneke. Read the article here. And try the wines if you find them.
So, this was a quick check-in from the cape. More will come. I still have a whole, lovely week. But first – lunch at Muratie and a 90 minute massage at the hotel spa. You can be jealous now.