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the month JANUARY 2013

the winelands enjoyed where wine is

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Head out to the Winelands today!

e e fr py co

the month

in my opinion

Happy New Year, Again!


n September I used my editorial space to welcome the rebirth of life to the Winelands, as warmth replaced cold and the first new shoots of spring began to appear. Now, with memories of the birth of Christ and, for many of us, thoughts of friends and family still foremost in our minds, it’s time to turn our attention to the year ahead. As I write this editorial, towards the end of 2012, the Office of The Presidency remains somewhat vague about the condition of a hospitalised Nelson Mandela. The Office has been at pains, I believe, to be less than honest about his whereabouts or condition and it’s another pointer to poor state of political leadership in our country. That I would choose to make a statement like that in a ‘good news paper’ like The Month is not lost on you, I’m sure. Mac Maharaj claimed at some point that the miscommunication from the Office was part of a “learning” process the department needed to go through – after all, the ex-president doesn’t go to hospital on a regular basis. What a load of tosh! This is Nelson Mandela, the most important public figure in the free world; when it comes to absolutely everything concerning him it needs to be done properly the first time. At 94, there may very well not be a next. This leads me to the one positive I’ll take from this, and the reason it’s in The ‘Good News’ Month: If there’s one New Year’s resolution I’m committed to for 2013, it’s to get off my proverbial and do something! Yes, I may very well do it with a glass of bubbly in hand, but I’m going to do SOMETHING. I hope to see you right there beside me. Speaking of doing things, we’re not known to lay about here at The Month and we’ve been hard at work setting the tone for the year ahead. We got that lay-about, Jim

Waite, to try out a coffee and dining venue in Franschhoek and Stellenbosch respectively, with some interesting results… There’s wine news, as always, with Will James sharing his vinous New Year’s resolutions while the Vineyard Connection team recommends five of the best bubblies to try in 2013. We took a trip up Lion’s Head, using Shank’s Pony and ventured vicariously to Reunion, through the eyes of occasional contributor Clifford Roberts. The Publisher takes a retrospective on the articles of 2012 that will stick with him in the year ahead and it obvious where his priorities lie: he’s all about responsible eating, environmentally friendly driving and meaningful parenting. And if you believe that sentence you’ll be forgiven for thinking he’s a really nice guy. Dave Rundle weighs in with thoughts on Test Cricket and Feiran Griede is concerned about the raw deal given to SMEs. There’s some advice for our younger readers, courtesy of Jim Waite – and yes, he addresses the subject of sex, albeit rather briefly and the mag concludes with a list of things to do in the Winelands and pictures from one of the best events of 2012, the Spit or Swallow ‘Box Wine Awards’. To close I’d like to wish you and our many readers a prosperous New Year and share my earnest prayer that 2013 will be characterised by a renewed resolve in South Africa to get things done right. I have no doubt that as we pull together, and weed out the rubbish, we’ll all be in a position to sit back, relax and enjoy the read!



he Month now has a number of covers, each going to different distributions. Carving up our wide distribution into reachable, limited and valuable readerships offers advertisers ‘defined distribution’ - the ability to choose where their message is read - and then pay for that and no more. Bookings are made online at with discounts offered for multiple-publication advertising. All information, artwork regulations, terms and conditions, distribution and deadlines are carried on the site and, as usual, all advertising packages are subject to a downloadable signed mandate and contract.


the month the month the month the month the month NOVEMBER 2012


the winelands







2012 NedbaNk WiNelaNds Festival

the BOSCheNMeeR

enjoyed where wine is

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the month


In Search of the next

Madiba – thanks to the very little we can get away with giving to the ‘have nots’. Stay with me here – you’ll be relieved to read that while I’ll admit a measure of collective guilt, I’ll state categorically that the blame lies elsewhere. An article in the Mail & Guardian of the 16th of November 2012 includes this quote “ ‘The fact that a group of Zimbabweans was on the ground here in South Africa giving the strikers legal advice tells you something about the condition of labour organisation in the agricultural sector,’ said Petrus Brink, Citrusdal-based representative of the Surplus People Project, a rural development NGO.” That labour organisations and politicians did eventually enter the fray only to fuel the tensions, and literally, the fires, says a lot about their priorities. Unions, it seems, simply need members and politicians need hobbyhorses. Rather than rational thought or an offer of any sensible solutions, there were threats of another Marikana and an insistence that the only way forward was to increase the minimum seasonal farm worker’s wage from R69 to R150 per day. Whether from their pleather seats in their air-conditioned offices or from their leather seats behind the tinted windows of their X5s, these ‘leaders’ failed their people. But who can blame them when the job started by being “finished” and when those leaders seem acceptably preoccupied with self? And by failing the labour forces that constitute both the Agricultural and Mining sectors, those leaders have failed us too. How ironic the words of that old washer-woman are now! In the midst of the strike action came the news of an illuminating personal update from the committed Christian, Philip Jonker, the owner of the Weltevrede farm near Bonnievale. Philip was aware of the unwelcome pressure on his staff from outsiders keen on industrial action and called a pre-emptive meeting. An early diary-like entry in his recollection of events reads thus: “I reminded them that we are there for them and that we’ll do all we can to keep them safe. I offered them my phone number to call me should anyone be intimidated or threatened. I invited them to come stay with me in my home if anyone feels unsafe.” Over the days and weeks that have followed, Philip has given tirelessly of himself and has been shown to be a man of peace and an “ambassador of reconciliation”. He wants no share of the limelight, mind you; he’s too busy getting on with the job, and encouraging others to do the same. And so, thanks to his efforts, I’ve replaced the image of that raised fist with which I imagined welcoming the New Year in, with an outstretched hand intended to help. In my mind it bears a simple caption: “Let us begin!” and a caution to cast the net a little further in search of a saviour.

Photos by Tr


hanks 2012, for the mess; and good luck 2013 – you’re going to need it!” With his words adding an unwelcome moment of sobriety, Jeffry, the opportunistic car guard, gratefully accepted my New Year’s tip (which, I must explain, was not money) as he gifted himself a couple of the bubbly bottles he’d helped me load into the back of my car. The latter fact I only noticed some time later and explains why Jim Waite’s experience of our New Year’s bash was a rather dry one. Jeffry’s words reminded me of something I overheard in ’94, after working for a number of days at an IEC-manned voting station at the Athlone Girls High School in Johannesburg. My job had been a simple one – be a friendly face and point people to the right place and only let officials park in the main parking area. I played cricket on the netball courts with a few of the other volunteers for most of the four days I was temporarily employed. When I close my eyes and think back to that time I can almost smell the ever-present scent of fried chicken and still hear clearly the voice of a wrinkly old washer-woman who left the school hall after having cast her vote who said loudly, though to no one in particular, “Thanks NP, for the mess; and good luck ANC – you’re going to need it!” A short while later Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was inducted as the country’s first democratically elected president and, as I ate my way through a stockpile of Bully Beef, my estimation of the once militant anti-apartheid activist, and co-founder of Umkhonto we Sizwe, grew in a way that I had never anticipated. That a man convicted of sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment should walk free after 27 oppressive years in prison, and demonstrate the reconciliatory approach with which he is now synonymous remains as astounding as it is humbling and inspirational. I waited in vain for images of his release to be marred with bloodshed – instead his clenched fist as he left Victor Verster Prison simply seemed to say “It is finished!” No wonder some hail him as a modern-day saviour. And yet, his legacy stands in danger of collapse. When the group of about 300 farm workers on Keurboschkloof Farm near de Doorns gathered on the 27th of August last year, apparently to oppose the new contract they had been asked to sign by their employers, the issue was not one of race. Rather it was the continued exploitation of an unskilled labour force that has allowed practically every reader of The Month to profitably enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labour. I’m not suggesting that the Keurboschkloof owners, or you, are oppressive, or exploitative, or even that I side with the workers in their demand for more than the minimum wage – those matters would be the subject of a serious journalistic endeavour, not simply an opinion piece. But I am prepared to say that those of us who ‘have’, have a lot

ish Heywood

The Editor takes a serious look at the mess the 2012 farm workers’ strikes left us with



the month

e c a r b m e the change! Will James shares some vinous New Year’s Resolutions


t has been a very exciting year in the wine industry – and by ‘year’ I mean 2012, and the vintage that bears that mark. So as we stare into a new year that will soon gain momentum and begin to get away from us, it’s appropriate to reflect on some of that excitement. Many share my opinion that the 2012 vintage will go down in the record books as one of the best we’ve had this side of the millennium. Perhaps even in the top three! The proof, as they say, is in the pudding, albeit a bottled pudding, and as this year’s reds are still in hibernation, its brothers and sisters - the Sauvignons and Chenins of 2012 – are where it’s at. Already their sparkling performance suggests there’s truth in the sentiment. Of course, looking into the bottle inevitably leads to a measure of nostalgia and there are very few things in life to beat opening ‘a good year’, or one of the better vintages, whilst sitting on the ‘stoep’ as the sun sets over the sea or the mountains cast their long shadows over the valley. I expect in years to come many wines saved for a special occasion, or the start of a new year, will draw us back to 2012. But what does 2013 hold for us vino-sapiens? Shifting my gaze from the bottle to an empty crystal glass I can’t help but feel excited at the chance to fill it with ‘opportunity’ and ‘enthusiasm’. The South African wine democracy has advanced beyond the years of teenage

Shifting my gaze from the

rebellion and consumers too are growing in maturity. The future, I’d say, looks bright. That growing maturity means that a measure of wine intelligence is discernible across racial and generational boundaries and the result is a swing in the wine power balance, with winemakers no longer holding all the cards. Today local consumers travel the world – to return with broadened experiences thanks to European summers in Tuscany or having splashed out on the Sunset Boulevard with the best of Napa. Champagne

bottle to an

empty crystal glass I can’t help but feel excited at the chance to fill it with

‘opportunity’ and ‘enthusiasm’


is an integral part of our annual festivals, where before we couldn’t even spell the word, and even Chilean and Argentinean wines have crept from our shelves into our cellars. If local winemakers thought they had their work cut out just seeing off the stiff local competition, these foreign influences added to the mix mean that the game is on! What then can we expect from the ‘locals’? The past few years have given us barrels and beards from Botriver, revolutionaries from the Swartland and many unsung heroes across the board whose innovative wines shatter the rules and push all the boundaries. Expect to see cellar technology increasingly play second fiddle to a more traditional approach, even from the wine giants, and be prepared for new varieties that few will be able to pronounce. Be on the lookout for Rhone varieties, the comeback kid Chenin Blanc and winemakers finally coming to terms with our own proudly South African grape, Pinotage. In that vein I’d even go out on a limb to suggest that the annual Pinotage Top 10 is set to grow in popularity. Perhaps, as a direct result of recent labour-related developments, we should be prepared to see a rise in post-Apocalyptic-like mechanical creatures crawling over our vineyards and with that continued dialogue about the role of the wine sector as a driver of social change. Or should that read ‘continued dialogue about the role of social change as a driver in the wine sector’? No doubt The Month will bring some clarity, either way. So, with much of this article behind us, and most of 2013 ahead, our collective New Year’s Resolution should be to embrace the change. Not that I’d suggest that anyone give up their favourites; but be prepared to experiment! Ditch those pre-conceived ideas; try the wines you swore off decades ago; change your house wine; be adventurous in your wine spend and stock up on wines with screw caps; weird-looking labels and unpronounceable names. Santé! A la prochaine!

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the month


At the Sight of


Jim Waite enjoys a’ night on the town’, in Simonsig country…


ou’re the designated driver!” smiled the Editor loudly as I arrived at the New Year bash, handing me the conical hat with the prominent pink ‘D’ on it. The Ed swears blind that the ‘D’ doesn’t stand for ‘Darren’ who was always the designated driver on account of the photocopies he made of himself at our first-ever office party, and at which he was allowed to drink… “OK,” I responded respectfully, but secretly elated that I’d be allowed to drive a car (which the magistrate said I’d never do again) and hoping against hope it might be the Publisher’s bio-fuel powered double cab. ‘Tonight’s going to be a good night’, sang the Peas. Our office party was really great, and reminded me of one of my family’s shin-digs in my youth. Heck – at some point it was just like being at home as I watched the Publisher and the Ed go at each other, voices raised and with fingers wagging under the other’s nose. Soon after that the Publisher emerged with an envelope and a generous handshake – “Here, Shim,” he slurred, thrusting the envelope my way. It was marked: Editor, The Month, “Enjoy yourshelf at Shimonshig; and if anyone ashkes, you’re the editor.” I left immediately, lest the Publisher and Ed be reconciled, pausing only to carry out the empties and transfer my hat to the office cactus. Simonsig has a fabulous holiday offering of Kaapsel Vonkel MCC and oysters served on the Cuvée terrace on Saturday afternoons – and it’s to that that the Editor had been invited. My date, who was particularly impressed that I had been promoted, and I arrived shortly after four to take up a sunny spot with an entertaining view of the band for the day, Cherry Vinyl, and table groaning under oysters, a cheese platter and a bottle of Kaapse Vonkel.

As entertainment goes, it really doesn’t get much better than a pretty girl devouring oysters in time to the sounds of an accomplished group playing hits from the ‘80s, made famous long before they were born, with a cloudy sunset over the Winelands of Stellenbosch as the backdrop. That my date had to ask me to keep my eyes off that pretty girl and pay her some attention instead was, however, a little distracting. Be warned – at Simonsig they aim to please. Our attentive but demure waitress was happy to bring a little extra fig preserve and a back-up paper napkin when a sudden gust of wind caused me to stumble against our table and send the original figs to the floor - I denied that the empty bottle of Vonkel had anything to do with it. On seeing the empty bottle she offered me the wine list and the insight that wine by the glass was at restaurant prices. I ordered another bottle instead. Moving from the outside venue, with the band packing up and the sun all but set, we made our way inside the Cuvée restaurant and I was reminded that this is one place that one hears hardly enough about Chef Lucas Carstens consistently serves up dishes that are deceptively simple yet elegant and flavour-driven; if ever there was a pairing to take note of it’s his food and the Simonsig wines! Starters included a ‘Mushroom and Healy’s Mature Cheddar Tart’ (R60) with tomato jam, paired with my favourite, Chenin avec Chéne; and a ‘Smoked Confit Duck Terrine’ (R75) with blueberries and grilled sourdough bread and a glass of chardonnay for my date. On a different night I might have ended things then and there and headed home a satisfied man with an oyster-laden date; but the Editor’s reputation was at stake… Mains comprised a ‘Mushroom Stuffed Quail’ (R150), with pancetta, potato and a grape-chardonnay sauce

for her and ‘Venison Loin with Ox Tongue’ (R145), a cauliflower puree, red onion and a marsala jus for me. The latter, paired to a glass of Simonsig Tiara, was the show-stopper for sure – and I was grateful that the room stopped spinning at this point, even if for just a moment. I’m not ordinarily a venison fan but if all Gemsbok tasted like this, I’d campaign for their domestication. Dessert was a ‘Cuvée Sundae’ (R65) with meringue, fruit sorbet, blue berry cheesecake ice cream and fresh berries and a sip of Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé, for me and a ‘Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Tart’ (R60) with nougat ice cream and espresso espuma for her. When asked what ‘espuma’ was I diverted her attention by suggesting that she eat the nougat in Afrikaans to see if it had the desired effect (in Afrikaans nou = narrow; gat = buttocks – Ed). Needless to say even a barrelful of oysters wouldn’t have brought back the love. All-in-all a night out at Cuvée isn’t going to be ‘cheap’ in anyone’s book – but R674, including wine but excluding the tip, and that for three excellent courses each, is a timely reminder that this Winelands offering is second to none. Add the pre-dinner entertainment at just R10 per oyster, R75 for the cheese platter and R90 for the Kaapse Vonkel and you’d have to agree that Simonsig is possibly even streets ahead of the rest


the month

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Beca is d rt a e h ndence, cause of ! d l s our depe ve r ri d o it , fits eW is addictive future pro ge th arantee of u g e d. th te o Chan d n an akes panies, No m co d o h fo for ple, hig ly avoids sim w o m n o t fr ie s (sugar, His d storie me which ohydrates d e rb sk ca a r e o d th it e ar, from process hen the Ed the New Ye ucts made with me in ll the prod n y a e a d re st n g of a t ill r u w u o a o 2 b fl 201 ods, m ny s one a rocessed fo to mind wa p e lly d m ia n a it ca ) t in o a m s the first th getable ils er) wa mega-6 ve d!” (Octob o rl o in d W ta n n e e co th to peal er. which hange Tickell’s ap nd sunflow energy. “C how ean, corn a UEL! - Josh f F yb o f o so ry inating e o w m st lik ie u v and the most ill s il, a a movie re o w n t o a ly h ce n ip do For me w dependen e US fuelle e relationsh the world’s an across th tion that th e rv a e th p lis n a n m e o re e ca ts l e n tw diese was th fat, be restaura he drove a nd getting a d up from t ke fa ic g p n is e ti l a h stero , grease between e oring chole with fryer st d n s a a l w l ro leste fat, any iodiese eating cho and soon b ill store, as w way. m y tu d n o e d b n m a e tter cks ained mo nuous. Th back to bu ansport tru His story g at best, te end. So I’m e usses, by tr xp b th e l s n o ’t e n o h o h T fr d . l sc S in lourfu uit ries we ss the U Are we failing our children? being used s such as co surplus calo l te ations acro o st ra n l a o yd h lin tr th o e e su f p no n in le in il and carb give me a e productio was availab and olive o blaming th those that ing up t ck ss o a e n b just see m it – h r d s n fo ry m soy) vegetable ce store a oil indust ro n d (f n ie l a n s. se ve ie ce n . d ri wrote ntains any co dity p ) and bio ssed nor co roduct” we bal commo But go into ce p lo . r e g (from corn ro o p ik p n r u e sp s s g h e e it ic in rv rs nd is ne sourc s and driv ll neither se n buy that ies employe at is easy (a ner energy food supplie real qualit we eat wh ent of clea they can se what you ca l t e m o a n p th th a s lo y d ke th la n ve e s ta p e , g ta is d the ey d lead, to at brin u unders ve fuels This stalled hy don’t th rk hard, to gar. Now I d alternati sts and wh o n la “W su a , w t ic a le to h m b o a w ty n , w ili duce ty eco e rene the ab ble) to pro ring the dir - tenacity, – largely th dictive. . n profita left us wea d based seek a e d iln sk o sy at we a a ., what’s ad e co l e i.e w se th o – ?” ie to re ty s d o ili io ct m b e m b e r ing, it is th ff si d e h n th fo o an yt e n ck h sp a a lt iv re b a g s e u h e t w the und has taugh ntal and ded that long from us kids aro ore years. environme We conclu So, if 2012 our precio m for too y e for a few m g rg s th in e s u e v n a ct ri n e , d o te n s s se e a t’ ro p um becau usly b Ed? Le se and p on a cle economy d ould obvio ng it, right pbringing mic world ess led me ti u sh o l a n n e se re co n a ie e e a w d a th th e io , r d f th the alth oun nly b realities o on and we This new-f that the o ybean oil ra sophisticati ly, I found rk on so rman, harsh g o in te n w a d si f W ri se o a ig rp s e e ra su cr n uti s in ille! C trek and, from the ro s society ha ere in Bellv The hood, free g oil, claim country is h in ild e k th ch o f for longer. in co o t g e e e n tl ou e granti om wast s, privileg fr th ck l r o se fo st has ie d s rs d o lt u io u o fo s B with n as ad line, is who make ot compete our childre and discip , n g s le n e b ti o a a d d e h tr ra g ic nsure and l (wh we start is biode that his fue ctance to ce e at which lu etroleum, g a p re ilt o a u , n b it s s h in e approach l engin and, wit y) conta ple, in our ainly risen most diese by the wa m rt h xa it e ce w r fo rk , o ids. Our sistency nd will w and. Incon s with our k d m n non-toxic a ri ie p fr re e to b rld re to its up into the wo hides a desi iodiesel em after 1995. to alcohol, ur children l engine, b o ss r se le e ie at d % liv 0 e a w 8 d in ro d ay th ts, is to nd up to “When use b, as paren tever life m missions a a jo e h d n w ke a o le g d e o sm n xhaust r how w llte to sm d to ha 75% less e t, no matte ll-equippe at contribu a e th w th s l, n o ve o d si le to l is fail ercia xide em d so, if we on a comm carbon dio instead! ds. them an Craig and, e se ys tes, d sa n t’s talk food ” a g Le ts in u il. n rm fa a s, e p w carbohydra w l o , a cr g b f glo meanin ariety o and simple g v r in a a g th m o ave su ly fr h n h , d o it e acte ed w d the shelf lif can be extr Foods load loves it an ils for long ie o e k m k -6 a ti a b g e e a ta th m yo ith o % of des – p rtly My 2003 To rocessed w ts for deca sing it 100 p u ie r d o m o rn ty e fr p st m e e e ses heart ay of w revent m hen on ted fat cau the mainst ra that will p n Bellville w e tu e to sa b t y a so it , th ’ m ry outlets my proxi the ‘discove xpand the in 2013 is because of plans to e s a h ig ra C - although ace. sp is th watch


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the month e t a r b e l e C


the New Year in Style

The team at the Vineyard Connection lifts the cork on how to start the New Year on the right note! with a lingering brut aftertaste. Enjoy as an aperitif or with a sunset.


hat most of us know as ‘Champagne’, or Methode Cap Classique as its known in South Africa, is the perfect tipple to partner life’s many achievements, milestones, triumphs and joys! Even when things aren’t going that well, the uplifting effect of sparkling wine never fails to raise the spirits. In the words of Madame Lily Bollinger “I only drink Champagne when I’m happy, and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it - unless I’m thirsty” Younger sparkling wine works wonders with oysters and sushi, while older and more complex MCCs pair perfectly with smoked meats and lightly spiced curries. We tried to select just a few to recommend to see your New Year in, but failed – and so chose slightly more. Enjoy them and 2013! Pongrácz Rosé, R127 Pongrácz Rosé was recently ranked in the Top 10 in the world at the 2012 Effervescents du Monde, an international competition held in Dijon, France. Winemaker Elunda Basson can be proud of her achievement, as it’s the second accolade in the space of a month for this blushing Pongrácz, after being crowned Best Pink Cap Classique in the 2012 FAIRLADY Consumer Awards. Pongrácz Rosé delights the mouth as much as the eye, boasting great elegance and complexity with delicate yeasty tones. Layers of toast and ripe fruit are enlivened by a wonderful foamy mouthful of black berry fruit flavours

Villiera Monro Brut, R185 The family-run Villiera winery on the outskirts of Stellenbosch is one of the most consistent leading producers of Cap Classique in South Africa, and the 2007 Monro Brut was awarded the prestigious 5 star accolade in the 2013 Platter Guide. This is a rich, creamy, yeasty sparkling wine, with a full, ripe toasty flavour on the middle palate which works wonderfully with food. Don’t get too hung up on a pairing with this wine as it’s good with most mains. Just make sure it’s on the table! Morena MCC Ancienne, R150 The charismatic, and passionate, Nick Davies makes five truly exceptional MCC’s, way up on the slopes of the Franschhoek Pass. After offering up the tip of his finger to the foiling machine, his passion still runs high with the cork of the Morena Ancienne being secured with string; recreating a time old tradition. Prior to 1855 all champagne corks were secured with string, being applied by hand while the bottle was held between the legs. Nick assures us he now keeps his fingers firmly out of harm’s way… Morena Ancienne is produced from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, and was left on the lees for two years. In keeping with the early Champagne style, a small amount of Muscat d’Alexandrie brandy is added to the dosage. Drinking this wine needs no excuse, other than a party perhaps, and has crisp, citrus flavours with a hint of tropical fruit. Ambeloui Rosanne Rosé NV, R185 Ambeloui is from a small farm in Hout Bay with a fantastic reputation. So much so that crowds from far afield gather on the day of their selected releases and the first few vintages have been sell-outs within just couple of hours! Each bottle is named after a family member, beginning with Lisa in 1998, the eldest sibling in the family. They recently released the ‘Miranda’ 2010, and then the ‘Nicholas’ 2009, named after Nick Christodoulou the father, grandfather, patriarch, sailor and model train enthusiast. He heads up the family who dreamed of a little vineyard around the house and a few bottles of

wine to share with family and friends. Little did they know! Each year, in honour of their matriarch Ann, they release a delicious NV Rose Sparkling, a full-bodied sparkling wine, characteristic of a classical Rosé style champagne. Drink this at any time, paired with clean and light flavours. Plaisir de Merle Grand Brut MCC 2010, R170 To celebrate its 20th wine vintage, Plaisir de Merle has just added a Méthode Cap Classique to its range. This debut release of Grand Brut MCC 2010 brings a new dimension to the wines on offer from this historic farm and this is a scintillating MCC, a blend of 63% Pinot Noir and 37% Chardonnay, has a delicate yeasty tone, layered with toast and ripe fruit, a firm mousse and a long lingering mature finish. It’s ideal with food and raised in honour of friends and family. And if, after all of that you’re still able to read… Celebrating Methode Cap Classique, the beautiful and informative coffee table book written by Di Burger, is available from the Vineyard Connection at only R220. If you’re planning ahead and looking for the perfect gift for someone who loves celebrating with sparkles, this book remains the best bet in 2013. The Vineyard Connection’s wine shop is open 7 days a week and has each of the wines featured on this page in stock.



the month A

trip to Mauritius takes you over Reunion, its closest neighbour; but, somehow it remains virtually unknown to many South Africans. If you happened upon it in a ship, however, it would be harder to miss the soaring peaks of the volcanic island. Banish the thought of typical palm trees and endless white beaches (although there are some) on just another tropical island. While the water’s a transparent blue and a few, long reefs provide shelter from violent surf and washing machine currents, there’s a strong focus on Reunion’s land-based offerings. “We islanders are said to live with our backs to the sea,” says our guide Nicolas Pasquier, as he navigates a windy road inland. “We prefer facing the mountain.” And it’s obvious why. At its widest point, the island is only 50km by 70km, while its highest mountain reaches 3 069m (Table Mountain is around 1085m)! A narrow margin along the coast is the most inhabited region and also the area responsible for the island’s biggest agricultural product, sugar cane. It’s in the interior, however, where the most dramatic landscape lies: shaped by volcanic eruptions, lava flows and the erosion of centuries; magnificent ramparts, wrapped in rainforests, surround tiny




Sprawling resor you won’t find tropical island from Johanne Clifford

the month



rts are one thing d on Reunion, the just four hours esburg, reports d Roberts. villages. A superb network of roads weaves up into the seemingly inaccessible corners and outcrops, and even to the rim of the island’s youngest volcanic crater. Sitting on the veranda of the Les Jardins d’Heva hotel one morning, it strikes me that the peaks surrounding the town of Hell-Bourg are a lot like the dorsal fins of some giant pre-historic beast, curled up in slumber. The image fades as I scan our itinerary for the seven days of our stay and get stuck on one in particular: a visit to the rum museum, La Saga du Rhum at the Isautier distillery in St Pierre. The drink is made from molasses, a by product of sugar production, and has a long history on Reunion. The island has been under the administrative authority of France since its first inhabitants arrived, and explains the very French sounding St Pierres, Isautiers and du Rhums. Islanders refer to France as “the mainland”, and enjoy the trappings of a sturdier economy as a result. Until recently, South Africans needed a Schengen visa to visit – but that’s no longer the case. The Euro is the currency used and access to banks, rental companies, a variety of accommodation and other tourist amenities resemble the standard of most European cities. In addition to the spoken language on the island,

the other links are obvious - there are boulodromes aplenty; supermarket shelves are lined with French wine and pastis; and French-made cars outnumber all others. On the latter, the traffic can be horrendous - but the temperament seems more of the relaxed islandstyle variety than most South Africans would expect. I was on the topic of alcohol… One of our stops was Cilaos, a village in a collapsed volcanic crater that is home to Reunion’s tiny eight-hectare wine industry. A group of small-scale, but very proud, grape growers deliver their products to a co-operative which bottles and sells the wine on the island, alongside the French and South African wines in stores and restaurants. There’s a stop at Domain du Café Grillé, a four-hectare garden filled with a fantastic collection of exotic and indigenous island plants where we’re also introduced to Reunion’s premium Bourbon Pointu coffee, which sells for roughly R1 500/kg thanks to its full flavour and very low caffeine content. Most of the island’s production is bought by Japan. Next we encounter La Vanilleraie, a vanilla producer at the Grand Hazier Estate near St Suzanne and learn of their hand-pollinated orchids, a two-year drying and processing period and sample some of the top quality vanilla. Surprisingly only a tiny percentage leaves the island to be used in premier restaurants in Paris. At the entrance to Piton de la Fournaise (Peak of the Furnace), our guide makes us close our eyes before we proceed. The vehicle edges forward a few metres over a ridge and beyond the dry mountain plants before we’re allowed to open them. Below us lies a wasteland, like the surface of Mars. The crater was formed during one of the island’s major eruptions centuries ago and is a truly spectacular sight. In the distance, plumes of dust follow cars and cyclists as they move along a single track across its surface. The last lava flow from the volcano occurred in 2010 – a minor event compared to 2007, when a stretch of the highway to the south of the island was destroyed. At the time, several hectares of land were added to the island, and islanders came out with picnic chairs and packed lunches to watch the progress of the seething mass of molten rock! In Bébour Bélouve national park, where we engaged in a popular activity for many locals – trekking around the rainforest – we were even more aware of the magnificent views afforded by the island and even in the rim-flow pool at the luxurious Palm Hotel later, as we drifted about watching the ocean sky burn red before extinguishing, we wondered how the island has remained relatively unknown. In the morning, at St Anne’s Diana Dea Lodge, we woke to find deer munching on the lawn, on a backdrop

of distant, broekie-lace coastline and yet another scene that would otherwise seem too good to be true. A flight with charter company Alpha ULM, served to concretise the thought as we soared over the island ahead of the cloud that sets in around the peaks, like clockwork, every afternoon. After dinner, our host for the final night at Villa des Cannes in St Marie, Antoine Poletti, brought out a bottle of rum filled with fruit from his uncle’s garden and poured us each a tot. As we talked about life on Reunion and his work as a teacher, he summed up our sentiment as he concluded with a smile: “Once, the education department tried to move our family to Paris; but we said ‘No! We stay!’” If only we could.


the month


jim wAItE reviews

Jim Waite loves coffee, and doesn’t mind that after five double espressos back-to-back he’s not allowed to legally compete in any international Track and Field events; it’s a useful excuse. More importantly, perhaps, he’s happy to buy coffee in chocolate, icecream, face cream or even soap – the latter two he recommends not drinking however; as experience has proved that at times coffee has powerful purgative effects. We got him out of our system by sending him on a little coffee expedition…



Jim Waite spills the beans at Terbodore Coffee Roasters


fter discovering that the fifty bucks the editor advanced me last month, to attend the Baroudeur movie premier, was in fact an advance on the thirty one-rand coins he had intended to give me for Christmas, you can imagine that I’m not jumping for joy at the prospect of the year ’13. In search of a little luck and a pick-me-up, I headed to my local bar and took to a seat at the window and waited for the Old Year’s Eve fireworks display to begin. “It’s the 27th, Jim,” said the bar-keep before informing me that he had been told to put a hold on my tab until I “attend to it”. What is the world coming to when even the barman won’t lend a hand, especially when it’s to those who prop up the shop? Ever happy to offer advice, the Editor suggested I try the bar at Terbodore, located on Goederust farm outside Franschhoek. “No one knows you there!” he suggested in a mock take on support, before hanging up. I immediately set out - the idea of a clear tab giving me a new lease on life - and knowing that if I walked quickly I’d be there by the time they returned from their annual break. Approaching the somewhat rustic-looking roastery, I began to wonder whether the Editor was pulling another one of his ridiculously unfunny practical jokes on me. Despite the sign that read ‘Terbodore Coffee Bar and Roastery’, the distinct absence of the smell of ale had me a little jittery. Pressing on (I am, after all, a professional), I entered the small roastery and was immediately assaulted by the heady aromas of freshly roasted coffee. A friendly face, wearing an interesting coif, introduced himself as Michael, and explained that he had just finished roasting “a little Ethiopian”. In an attempt to hide the paralysis that his comment had caused in my legs, I sat down at the bar counter and prayed silently for a beer. Looking at the humble shelves groaning under freshly roasted batches from all parts of the world, I realised that “Ethiopian” was a reference to the origin of the beans. On the shelves too, names like Mocha Java, Espresso Blend


and flavours such as French Vanilla and Kahlua Fudge fight silently for some attention, occasionally aided by a whiff of Almond, toast or equally inviting scent. “Would you like a coffee?” asked Michael, as blood rushed to my face and the feeling returned to my legs. I nodded as he directed my attention to the blackboard menu behind the bar. Foreign words such as ‘macchiato’ and ‘latte’ had me do a quick and almost-silent “eenymeeny-miny-mo” and the result was my first experience of a ‘flat white’, which is a cappuccino without all the fuss on top. What a sobering, in the good sense, experience. Feeling peckish now, I took another gander at the menu, keen to put something in my mouth (before threatening it with your feet – Ed): the ‘Belg-yum’ brownie looked interesting. Sourced from a recently-employed

local pastry chef, I wondered why he wasn’t still employed and turned my attention to the choc-stick instead. Not being one for Chinese food, the thought soon passed and I settled on a ‘tin-cup’, which sounds harder to eat than it is, as it’s actually a decadent condensed milk and coffee concoction. Sweet. With the caffeine kicking in I asked Mike about beer and a tab. I was surprised that neither is part of the Terbodore set-up; but at just R15 for a regular cappuccino, I guess the latter need not be a deterrent. In fact, despite feeling a little down at not getting a shot of my intended poison, I think I’ll visit Terbodore again; perhaps to try those brownies, and for another look at that coif. Find Terbodore online at or call 021 876 4716

the month

Stuck On

Art The Editor suggests that a hand-painted mural may be the best way to make an impression in 2013!


he popularity of décor shows, expos and TV programmes is a given in tough times – for many the inspiration, and even the vision of the unattainable, offers a semblance of hope and satisfaction that ‘real life’ doesn’t. What surprises me though, is that much of what we’re exposed to is largely generic; and if you bought that dream item ‘off the shelf’, there’s every chance Mrs Jones did too. Enter Edmund Barton of Gordon’s Bay and his handpainted tile murals. Edmund is an accomplished artist and master of a number of styles and media, but it is his tile murals that particularly caught my attention recently; essentially because of their sheer size, the vibrant colours and the fact you’ll see them in places like Sun City and the Maputo Holiday Inn, or even in Mauritius. Rather than failing to describe them adequately in a thousand words I’ll direct you to look at the picture on this page or to visit to his website, ebart. com. What I can share is that his tile murals are created to last and that he uses acrylic paints and special primers and varnishes to ensure that generations get to enjoy them. In addition to being an artist, Edmund is a true craftsman and deals with every aspect from design to the installation of the mural. The fact that he has recently begun to expand his repertoire of work into the wine industry in particular, no doubt means that he’ll be enjoying the latter process especially. For more on the artist and his work visit his website or call 021 856 1006

The Woodmill markeT

Visit us at The Woodmill, Vredenburg Road, Stellenbosch

reoPeNiNG 1ST oF FeBrUarY 2013! WiNe




Top 10 Tips

the month

for Pairing Food & Wine

Wine and dine with confidence, thanks to this well-matured article by Joseph Morris, taken and slightly tweaked with permission from


any people are intimidated by the thought of pairing food and wine - but it’s not as hard as you think. While experts are able to pair subtle flavours in wine with the distinct taste of a dish, there’s no need for years of experience when it comes to the basics. Here are ten simple tips to help get you started: 1. Match the Style – The style and weight of the wine you pick should match the food on your plate. For example, a robust Cabernet would pair well with a hearty New York Steak. Similarly, food with intense flavour like blue cheese should be paired with a flavourful wine like port. For lighter dishes like fish, choose more delicate wines, like Chardonnay. 2. Don’t worry about the Colour of the Meat – It’s often said that white meats such as chicken, pork or fish should go with white wine, and red meats, like beef and lamb, should be paired with red wine. However, you should think about the dish as a whole. Chicken served with a flavourful tomato-based sauce could easily go well with a lighter red wine. 3. Stick to the Same Region – Dishes that come from a certain region almost always pair well with wines from the same region. Seafood dishes from the Mediterranean work wonderfully with white wine from Provence; while pasta and meat dishes from Tuscany pair well with their acidic red Sangiovese wines. 4. Avoid Oaky Wines – Unless you really know what you’re doing, a big oaky flavour can overpower the food it’s paired with. In general, wines with less oaky notes are easier to pair with food. 5. Add Salt – Salt will not only add flavour to your food, but it will also help your wine complement

the dish. Salt can make wines taste milder, fruitier, and less acidic; which tends to be pleasing to the palate. 6. Don’t Be Afraid of Acidity – Acidic dishes will actually bring out the fruit in the wine, and the wine will help frame the flavours of the dish. Spicy dishes work well with sweeter, low-alcohol wines like Riesling or Gewürztraminer, which will enhance the flavour of the dish without fighting them. 7. Consider the Most Prominent Flavour – For skilled pairings, consider the most dominant character of a dish. This tends to be the sauce, seasoning, or cooking method rather than the main ingredient – just think about all the different ways you can cook and season a chicken! 8. Experiment – Many novice wine drinkers assume that there’s only one good ‘paring’ for a certain wine or dish. In fact, there are many different possibilities, so don’t be afraid to try new combinations until you find one that you like. 9. Go for Bubbles – When in doubt, sparkling wine or Champagne works with almost any food especially brut varieties. 10. It’s Up to You – When it comes to the question of pairing wine and food, the ‘right’ answer is up to you. You have a unique palate and preference for certain flavours and it’s likely that the flavours you like will pair together well. So, drink and eat the wine and food combinations that you enjoy the most!

The Month discovers that things are certainly ‘on the go’ at Laborie Joseph Morris is an avid food and wine enthusiast and owner of the website

It’s Harvest Time!


Please visit our new gallery in The Yard 38 Huguenot Street Franschhoek 7690 Tel: 083 463 0392


arvest, the restaurant at the Laborie wine farm in Paarl, with the imposing Paarl Rock as its backdrop, is wellknown as a family friendly destination with excellent food, great wine and an expansive view towards the Simonsberg and Hawequas mountain range. Despite the intimate sense of the restaurant, it seats as many as 80 inside and can easily accommodate a further 100 on the beautiful terrace beside the immaculate vineyards of the wine farm. It’s no wonder then that it’s also a favourite for weddings, corporate functions and special occasions. For those who’re after something exclusive, the Private Dining Room, boasting modern contemporary décor, hosts smaller groups where patrons are able to relax and socialise whilst enjoying a glass or two of the superb Laborie wines in The Wine Lounge. Chef Matthew Gordon has been at the helm of the restaurant for some time now and his contemporary South African menu offers a diverse selection of delectable dishes that offer surprising depth of flavour and superb presentation. The latter is a reminder that the chef regards a plate of food as something crafted to satisfy a multi-sensory hunger. Matthew sources produce locally from the Paarl region and has a penchant for free range and organic ingredients. Karoo lamb, beef and fresh line fish feature on the menu as far as possible, and most of the herbs and vegetables you’ll see on the plate are harvested from the

restaurant garden. Wine lovers are sure to appreciate that Laborie produces some of the best Méthode Cap Classique bubblies, an array of awardwinning wines and an estate brandy. Other than a traditional ‘wine tasting’, visitors are able to enjoy an interesting and rather delicious chocolate and wine pairing – with a choice of ‘Chocolate & Wine Obsession’ or ‘Divine Chocolate & Wine’ to spice things up a bit. Each option includes three Laborie wines carefully paired with velvety smooth handmade chocolates. Need it be said that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner? The farm’s also boasts the permanent Cecil Skotnes art exhibition, featuring 30 works by this highly acclaimed South African artist, partnered with the Laborie Limited Collection wines. Look out for the Skotnes masterpieces on display in the Cellar Door, the Manor House and in the restaurant. Laborie is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm, Sundays from 11am to 5pm; and Harvest is open for lunch daily from noon to 3pm, dinners from Wednesday to Saturday, 6.30pm to 9.30pm. Contact the farm on 0218073390 or visit

Don’t M iss:

• LIVE M USIC ev ery Frida Perfect y, 5pm to ly paired 8pm to a glas the pictur s of win e or bubb e-perfec ly and t scener available y. Charc for the pe uterie pl atters ckish. • ANKE PIETRA NGELI 11 to 8pm Jan & 13 Feb, 5pm Join th e 200 3 Idols winner entertai for a ni nment no ght of t to be m issed!

the month


! M O O L B

Dave Rundle reflects on the balance of the side that bodes well for 2013


ricket has stood the test of time as a great sport. Its worth is obvious when the sun comes out and a contest between two teams can be enjoyed hour after hour, day after day. Many play the game because of the unique nature of individual expression, bowler against batsman, and inside a team environment. Eleven-a-side offers plenty of variety in personality and character which is required, given the different roles and skills that are called upon. Cricket is a fine all-round sport; healthy for the body but without direct contact, and healthy for the mind as it requires strategic thinking and concentration for long periods of time. The Proteas are top of the pile in Test cricket because the team has shaped into one that has unbelievably good, natural individual brilliance together with a will to perform for each other. These are my five reasons why they are so good:

1 1.

2 3 2.


Gary Kirsten seems to have the ability to get the best out of players and mold teams that believe they can win. This, together with the best captain in the game, Graeme Smith, gives the Proteas an edge in making decisions and Smith does not get the credit he is due. We are very lucky to have Graeme as our national captain. His leadership, as well as playing vital innings, should be recognised and praised. The Proteas have in their team the best cricketer that has ever played the game - Jacques Kallis. The only cricketer that can compare, I believe, is Gary Sobers. How long can they keep him going before he retires? They have the best bowling attack in the game. It took them a while to get going against Australia but when they did, the Australians collapsed. I think that bringing Robin Peterson into the side strengthened this attack of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander - all top performers in the top ten in the world test rankings. The trio complements each other as

4 4.

5 5.

they all bowl very differently - let’s hope they stay fit. The top order batting is very strong. The one person in particular who has stood out this year is Hashim Amla. The knock in Perth was possibly one of the best test innings I have ever seen. Smith, Petersen, Amla, Kallis, De Villiers and now Du Plessis, look like a top six that can match any team in the world. There is good mixture of young and older players which works well when the senior players are performing. So far so good.

We look forward to an exciting 2013 with The Proteas. This is a classy team and we, as the cricket watching public, should enjoy watching them. Have a great year!


Death by attrition Why are we killing our SMEs? Let’s rather cut them some slack suggests Feiran Griede


or sure Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs) complain a lot - and quite rightly. They are, after all, our major employer and we can only imagine the stresses that go along with that. A report entitled ‘Do SMEs create more and better jobs?’ found that not only were there “over 20 million enterprises active in the non-financial business sector in the European Union, of which 99.8% were SMEs” but that over 90% of the total business sector consisted of companies of 10 or fewer employees. Most tellingly, between 2002 and 2010, “85% of total employment growth was attributable to SMEs”. So, apart from the impact of small business on general welfare, SMEs also have a huge positive effect on economic growth

- creating far more jobs than large enterprises. Although there is no call for special treatment here, these facts need to be acknowledged. And since, in SA, we have a huge unemployment problem, encouraging SMEs is clearly a way of solving it. Nothing can prevent the demise of a small business if the product isn’t good enough – consumers fire SMEs at will simply by exercising choice, of course - but close on the heels of being ‘fired’ is death by attrition – the ingrained practise of customers paying late, if at all. The resultant negative effect on cash flow is the SMEs greatest gripe, and its biggest threat to survival. Why? Because small businesses are often dependent on a handful of large clients for their very survival and are reluctant to confront these clients, even if they’re serial late-payers. And although SMEs may be entitled to take legal action – and to add charges and legal fees to their bill – they rarely do, for fear of losing future business. The large clients know this. The London Evening Standard reports that in the UK , just one in four of Britain’s largest companies has

so far signed up to the Prompt Payments Code, a not especially arduous voluntary code of best practice with which companies can comply simply by paying bills when they say they will - and that without seeking to change payment terms retrospectively. In SA it is often ‘industry standard’ to pay on 30 or 45 days after invoice – which is sometimes as much as 75 days after the SME has incurred the comparative costs – and which makes business life all but impossible. That SMEs are the ‘engine room’ of the economy is not lost on those at the top, however. Earlier this year, our President told members of the Black Management Forum that government is considering “taking drastic action to ensure that small businesses are paid on time” with measures including ensuring government accounting officers and senior managers “pay SMEs within 30 days.” That sounds promising, but will it trickle down? Surely it has to. If SMEs are the economy why wouldn’t we want to ensure their survival? The time and effort it takes to recover payments adds about a 30% premium to cover those that either pay late or don’t pay at all, so the SME is faced with either absorbing that cost or adding it to our bill - neither is of which is ideal.


the month


Rise of the SecondScreen Revolution

One of the tech trends that will make a difference “next year,” according to Lance Ulanoff, Editor in Chief,


s I look to 2013, I realise that much of what I expect to see in the coming 12to-14 months has been quietly (or not so quietly) developing for months, even years. From my point of view, it’s unlikely 2013 will contain any revolutionary or ground-breaking advancements in technology, social media or even the nexus of the two. One trend that has been developed over time and will be dominant going forward is the second-screen revolution. In other words, the Second Screen has arrived, but the revolution awaits us. In 2013, brands, media companies and marketers are going to get far more aggressive and inventive when it comes to second-screen engagement. During a recent panel I moderated for Viacom’s

Here are s stats for ome you: • More than 80

% of smartpho ne and tablet owners us e these devices while watching TV. • At least 25% of U.S. smartphone and tablet users us e the devices wh ile watching TV m ultiple times pe r da y. • 51% of those who post on social media while wa tching TV do so to connect with ot hers who might also be watching the sa me thing. • 24% of Facebo ok users report posting about the mov ie they’re watch ing (in the theatre!).

integrated marketing group, Mondelez’s (a Kraft spinoff ) VP of Global Media Bonin Bough reported engagement is far stronger for second-screen integrated marketing programs than for traditional online brand advertising (read “banners”). Marketers see blood in the water, and in 2013 they will release the sharks. This is not a bad thing, but the old days of getting the full entertainment experience on screen 1 (TV, movies) is quickly coming to an end. Companies will expect you to watch their shows and see their product pitches with smartphone in hand and tablet (still usually the iPad) on your lap. Meanwhile, a legion of second-screen engagement enablers like Shazam, Zeebox (both of which were on my panel), Viggle and GetGlue are lining up to help you connect big-screen consumption with small-screen activities. Their goal will be not only to enrich your viewing experience, but to also extend the consumer connection as you turn off the TV and walk out the door with your smartphone in your pocket. Twenty-four-seven entertainment and branding will be the norm in 2013, though you won’t always be aware the connection between what you saw on your first and second screen at home and what your smartphone is telling you as you pass the local Walmart if you are abroad, or Picxk ‘n Pay in South Africa.

… o t k l a t e jim W

What makes you tick? From what I’ve read tic disorders are defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as sudden, rapid and non-rhythmic twitching and those that occur in childhood are not due to the effects of drugs. Personally my experience of both happened at an early age so I’m not able to account for the accuracy of that fact nor can I remember much of what happened at that party. On a more personal note, I must say that I love South Africa – mostly because of the beauty of the Winelands, lions and her people (excluding politicians). What makes you sad? I’m generally a happy-go-lucky kind of guy. It’s a good thing because a lot of people use the word ‘Go!’ when I’m around.


What do you do in your ‘time off’? Hmm, I have a lot of that – mainly on account of the fact that I don’t have a job. I try my hand at most things. I really like food and wine, and often try to write about that for The Month. I generally have to time my submissions well as the Editor is one of those people you likes to say ‘Go!’ when I’m around. He says more, but I know that young people read this magazine too. I also like sport, especially if it’s on TV, and even though I do try, I don’t really get picked to actually play in any teams. My friends tell me that it’s because I’m a little older than the rest – but they’ve been using that excuse for 40 years now – so I know it’s talent I lack. But remember what Gary Player said: ‘50% talent means half as good as the next guy!” (Actually he didn’t say that at all! And what does that even mean? – Ed). What new skills are you learning? Well, I’m typing these answers on my cellular and am about to send it via email – which is new for me. I just hope you can send the phone back to me in time for our New Year party and that it doesn’t get lost in the post. I’d like to take a picture of myself holding




Now that I’m thinking of it, if you’re a young person reading this, spend less time worrying about sex and TV and rather be sure to get some proper life skills – and I’m not referring to an ‘A’ in Maths. Learn how to charm people, practise doing menial stuff while still keeping that smile on your face (this is the one place I think Maths is useful), make at least one good friend who will help you with your taxes one day, plan to travel and pursue truth. Life is short, live it! Are you on Twitter? No, after my experience as a kid and the tic that developed I avoid all mood altering substances – except wine and the Editor. The latter because I really want him to like me and the former because I once learnt in a Chemistry lecture that alcohol is a solution. Tell us about the one that got away. Wow that’s a really good question. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer it; but here goes. I always wanted to be a pilot – but I grew too tall. Even though I used to sleep with encyclopaedias strapped to my forehead, it didn’t help (I learnt later that I should rather have strapped them to the top of my head, when I was awake). So I gave up on my dream and tried a lot of other things instead. I do still dream of being a pilot; pulling on that propeller, donning the brown leather skull cap and occasionally enjoying a dog fight. But it’s not all bad I remind myself, after all, at some stage you have to fly upside down and I worry that as the change leaves my pockets and heads to earth, I’ll be right behind it. What lies ahead for you in 2013? You know, I can’t say! The Bible says the sun comes up at God’s decree, and that’s for certain. But then the Mayans said it all ends on Dec 21 2012. If you’re reading this I guess we’ll know which one got it wrong. just in case, I haven’t planned much.

the month Taking Dave Rundle’s December advice to “be outdoors and active” we scale Cape Town’s Lion’s Head


iven that Lion’s Head can, at times, be busier than Tygervalley Shopping Centre during their annual sale, I’m always surprised to hear people say they’ve never tackled this reasonably easy, yet rewarding, minor summit. Once the friendly car guard (with radio to ear) has directed you into a parking spot along the road from Kloof Nek to Signal Hill, take a deep breath, tighten your laces and head up the fairly steep dirt track to the Camps Bay side of the mountain. As you go round clockwise, you practically look down on “South Africa’s most expensive property” - the R300m 7-star Enigma ‘palatial’ residence - but feel free to ignore that and rather savour Camps Bay beach, the Twelve Apostles and the view to Sandy Bay, just beyond Llandudno. The Paraglider’s take off point signals the beginning of the slightly steeper Clifton leg of the

views and a deserved water break - so circle round clockwise to the Camps Bay side again and leave the chains for the later descent. Refreshed, you double back to the slippery roots of the highest of three large trees that cling to the side of the mountain which, once over, brings you to the second ladder and the final onslaught to the top. A word of caution here as the track narrows, steepens and finally disappears into a scramble with descending summiteers who (I gather from the more experienced) have the right of way. The ‘Holy Trinity’ of three high steps signal the top is near and finally the gradient lessens into the plateau atop the Head. Enjoy an orange, the foreign accents, 360 degree views and the best photo-op so far at the top where you’re sure to be in good company. Watch your step on the way down, especially if windy, and particularly at those roots again. Heading down on the chains is the fairly easy option - unless you’re scared of heights. Summer weekends aside, you should be up and down in about 1hr 45min and feeling all the better for it!

hike, but the wooden sleepers across the track help some. Views of the turquoise sea, the four famous beaches and the ever-present cranes bring mutters of “one day...” At the end of this stretch you have the option to walk back down round the Sea Point side towards Signal Hill or carry on up (the better choice, of course) past a number of interesting caves a short scramble from the path. If you enjoy views of Robben Island, the North coast (up to Blouberg) and the waiting cargo ships in Table Bay there’s a nice bench here to catch your breath before you embark on the ‘business’ end of the hike. If it’s not too busy you might spot a Rock Dassie or two as you come round the Cape Town side and, as it gets a bit steeper, you come to the first ladder where those with dogs often bail out for obvious reasons. Looking down from here on your parked car registers you’ve done a full rotation of the Head, and a bit more rock scrambling sees you having to make a second decision – to climb up the chains or go round the side. My advice is the latter for more grand




1 sat st


lead two-hour walks that cover 100 years of plants and people at Kirstenbosch. Kirstenbosch Gardens, Newlands,

the month



25 – 27 JAN / CAPE TOWN / 5TH CAPE TOWN TATTOO EXPO A big range of

4 - 12 / 7.30PM / CAPE TOWN / COPPELIA The comic light-hearted story

top international tattoo artists, a very ambitious art events schedule and an impressive number of concerts and performances make this

of Dr. Coppelius, the ‘father’ of a mechanical doll. R100pp-R130pp, Artscape Theatre, D F Malan Street,,


African electronic/rock band performs along with rocker Gian Groen. R200pp, Paul Cluver Amphitheatre,,



seven 7 JAN – 28 FEB / FROM 6PM / CAPE TOWN / TABLE MOUNTAIN SUNSET SPECIAL Return tickets up the cable-

way are half-price from 6pm – kids R50, adults R102.50pp. Tafelberg Road,



Enjoy all the colour and noise associated with the Cape’s iconic Minstrel bands. Starts Kuizergracht, with good viewing from Darling, Adderley and Whale streets, capetown-minstrels.

4 jan 4 JAN / VILLIERSDORP / MOONLIGHT MARKET Try and enjoy local products

and various crafts in stalls around a fire with live music and children’s entertainment on the banks of the Theewaterskloof dam. R20pp (TBC), The Aphrodisiac Shack,

12 Jan / 6pm / Paarl / Stargazing Picnic A great option for the family!

until 9 UNTIL 9 JAN / 10AM – 12.30PM / CAPE TOWN / SNOWMAN BUILDING Lost

for something to do with the kids? Real snow means real fun – and memories to warm any heart. R5pp, The Ice Station, GrandWest Casino

26 & 27 JAN

26 & 27 JAN / 12 NOON / STELLENBOSCH / DELHEIM START OF HARVEST FESTIVAL The fun starts at 12 noon with a guided

vineyard tour; a cellar tour will follow at 1pm with a rare glimpse into a working wine cellar in the midst of harvest. 2pm is the kids’ grape stomp and at 2.30pm the grape stompproper begins; a barrel-rolling, grape-grabbing, chaotic stomping sequence with onlookers shouting out ‘helpful’ hints. Prizes will be awarded for the most juice stomped, with spot prizes allocated according to quirky themes. ‘Guess the cultivar’ grape tastings will take place throughout the day, and prizes will be awarded for the nearest guess. Tickets restricted to the first 130 bookings, R60 per adult, R30 per child – includes all activities, a glass of grape must and traditional mosbolletjies. Picnics available at R120 per adult, R60 per child. 021 888 4600 for picnic and ticket bookings,


Includes a guided tour of the Afrikaanse Taalmonument, a stargazing picnic and lots of fun. R25 adults, R10 kids, R45-R170 picnic, Paarl Mountain , 021 863 0543, taalmonument.


McCullagh and team play through five decades and a string of legendary hits. R78pp, GrandWest Roxy Review Bar, 021 789 2731

until 26 UNTIL 26 JAN / 9.30AM – 5PM / CAPE TOWN / PAINT I EXHIBITION A dec-

ade of contemporary South African paintings. Smac Art Gallery, cnr Buitengracht and Buitensingel,

If you’d like to feature an upcoming event in The Month, please send no more than 100 words, and at least one hi-res image, to

the month

What’s On? in the winelands


a hearty Kaapse braai buffet while you listen to the sounds of local favourites such as Hannes Coetzee, Tribal Echo and Pieter van der Westhuizen, alongside the talented Music van de Caab musicians, Soetstemme and Delta Valley Entertainers. R210pp, children under 12yrs R100, booking advised: 021 874 3937 Ext 115,

next month ...


at Grande Provence with Executive Chef, Darren Badenhorst’s decadent 4-course signature menu and a complimentary glass of sparkling wine on arrival. Expect award winning wines, an amuse bouche with drunken oysters and a Campari citrus granita, seared scallop served with foraged forest mushrooms, confit garlic air and Asian inspired wild mushroom broth served with sesame sushi rice, teriyaki duck and crisp wonton. Dessert includes Valrhona chocolate served with 40% hazelnut chocolate air or the now legendary Grande Provence ‘diddle daddle’ served with salted caramel popcorn, candied walnuts, a trio of hot and cold shakes and treacle ice cream. R495pp, with lots of love thrown in for good measure, 021 876 8600, reservations@


This flagship event of South Africa’s iconic wine region, stomps its way into a new era in 2013 with an expanded ten-day program designed to showcase in a bigger, better and bolder fashion the delightfully diverse town of Stellenbosch and its more than 150 wineries.

The festival will deliver a full flight of wine experiences for both casual fans and connoisseurs, including an inaugural charity gala, a ten-day promotion at many of the area’s award-winning restaurants, special cultivar evenings, wine farm tours, sporting events, art exhibitions and musical concerts. A festival highlight will be the Blessing of the Harvest and a Harvest Parade on Saturday, 26 January, as celebrants from Stellenbosch member farms are expected to march through the streets. Proceedings culminate in a three-day Wine Expo, from 1 Feb to 3 Feb, to be located in the heart of the vibrant town and features interactive stands and tasting programmes from over 130 wine and gourmet food producers. 021 886 4310, stellenboschwinefestival.

22 - 24 Feb / Robertson / ROBERTSON WINE VALLEY’S HANDS-ON HARVEST 2013 With harvest time around

the corner, it’s time to head out to the Robertson Wine Valley to experience the ‘magic of the harvest’. Given the success of the previous events, the Valley’s fifth Hands-On Harvest is a festival not to be missed and this boutique, fun-filled family event promises to offer a wide variety of activities that will appeal to both wine lovers and budding vintners. Here are just a ‘handful’ of the myriad activities on offer at the 2013 Hands-On Harvest: Experience the excitement of harvesting one’s own grapes | Witness the art of wine-making | Enjoy a sumptuous farm breakfast while overlooking the vineyards | Take a ‘breakfast boat trip’ on the Breede River | Make a family event of grape-stomping | Take part in a wine-tasting trail, on horseback or by horseand-cart | Take a tractor trip through the vineyards and experience the landscape from a different vantage point | Picnic in the vineyards | Relish an abundant ‘harvest-lunch’ while sipping on the fizz of award-winning bubblies | Be treated to an engaging discussion on ‘Grape vs Wine’ and compare the flavours of the grapes with the resulting wine | Shop at leisure and spoil oneself at the Harvest Market | Be educated through informative talks and demonstrations | Indulge oneself at the Harvest Spit-braai | Relish a delicious, bountiful Harvest Dinner prepared by a Master Chef. As some of the wineries participating in ‘Hands-On Harvest’ are not ordinarily open to the public, the focus will be on hosting a series of intimate events. This ensures that guests enjoy the best, most personalised and ‘hands-on’ experiences. Bookings no later than 20 Feb, 023 626 3167,

and in march

The new date also celebrates the birth of South African wine, thanks to the entry on 2 Feb 1659 in the diary of Jan van Riebeeck, official of the Dutch East India Company and First Commander of the Cape: “Today, praise be to God, wine was made for the first time from Cape grapes.”

22-24 FEB


(seriously!) Everyone is welcome to this unusual festival at which people from across South Africa will gather to honour their family name and ancestors

at the Van der Merwe Festival 352 (it’s 352 years since the first van der Merwe landed in the Cape). With food stalls, exhibitions, tours to the original family farm, a kid’s area, historical talks, a Sarel van der Sarel van d er Merwe Merwe book signing, music performances by, amongst others Wicus der Merwe and a Miss Van der Merwe competition, it is a festival for the whole family. Backsberg Wine Estate, tickets available from Computicket, 079 642 2892,

THE FINE PRINT The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Month or its affiliates. Having said that, we generate practically all of the material printed in each edition ourselves; please don’t reproduce any part of it without the Editor or Publisher’s permission (we’re generally quite generous – so just ask). The Month subscribes to the South African Press Code and if you feel we’re not living up to that, please call the Press Ombudsman on 011 484 3612. We regard our sources as reliable and verify as much of what we print as we can, but inaccuracies can occur and readers using information in The Month do so at their own risk.




the month

ape Town ROCKED in the final throes of 2012 when over 100 guests attended the third annual Spit or Swallow Box Wine Awards at Mercury Live in Cape Town, with Freddie Mercury look-a-likes, glam rock outfits and big wigs setting the scene for a revolutionary evening for South African wine. This year the Du Toitskloof Chenin Blanc walked away with the title for best White Box Wine and the Robertson Winery Shiraz was awarded the best Red Box Wine and. 33 wines were entered into this year’s competition and everyone who attended - from esteemed wine critics and experts to ‘everyday’ wine drinkers and members of the media - had the opportunity to judge the wines using the popular social media website, Twitter. The best 20 box wines for 2012 according to ratings, in order from the top, were: Du Toitskloof – Chenin Blanc 2012 | Robertson – Shiraz | Drostdy Hof – Cabernet Sauvignon | Stellenbosch Hills – Polkadraai Merlot/ Shiraz | Uniwines – Palesa Chenin | Woolworths – Light White | Drostdy Hof – Merlot 2012 | Du Toitskloof – Sauvignon Blanc 2012 | Woolworths – Crisp White | Du Toitskloof – Cabernet Sauvignon/ Shiraz 2012 | Robertson – Merlot | Du Toitskloof – Pinotage/Merlot/ Ruby Cabernet 2011 | Woolworths – Longmarket Merlot | Orange Rivier – Dry Red | Robertson – Chardonnay 3L | Overmeer – Crisp Dry Premier Grand Cru | Robertson – Cabernet Sauvignon | Robertson – Sauvignon Blanc | Stellenbosch Hills – Polkadraai Sauvignon Blanc | Cronier – Roads into Africa Red Wine 2011 South Africa’s leading wine news website,, was the main sponsor of the event, while the Monarch Tuksi Company ensured guests got home safely. Pictures by Social Plus One, Vital Liver Rescue tablets courtesy of Vital Health and Kevin Winder’s team at Mercury Live did the rest.



The Winelands Month January 2013  
The Winelands Month January 2013  

The Winelands Month January 2013