The latest in wine news and events

The South African wine industry is known for its dynamic and innovative approach as well as its top notch wines and young, creative winemakers.

The industry is progressing and changing at speed, as South Africa is increasingly recognised for premium wines and world-class wine tourism. Read all the latest news from Wines of South Africa...

Read Jamie's latest feature on South African wine

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BEE and wine

By Jamie Goode | 4 November 2015

Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) is an official government strategy that applies to all businesses in South Africa. It’s not just an attempt to redress the wrongs of the past, but instead sets out to be a strategy for encouraging economic growth by widening the economic base. Before the dismantling of apartheid in 1994, African, Coloured and Indian populations had very little participation in the economy, and these groups, known as PDIs in the official jargon (for ‘previously disadvantaged individuals’), are referred to collectively as ‘Black’ in BEE.

21 years on from the switch to democracy, there’s still a massive gap between rich and poor in South Africa, and large segments of the population are still excluded from meaningful participation in the economy. BEE isn’t just about affirmative action; nor is it about land redistribution. It’s a strategy to empower more black people to own and manage businesses and enterprises, to achieve a change in the racial composition of ownership and management structures, to encourage more skilled black workers, to provide finance for black economic empowerment and to benefit black-owned enterprises through preferential procurement policies.

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Old vineyards

By Jamie Goode | 8 September 2015

It was a beautiful early Autumn day when I visited Basil Landau's La Brie farm in the Franschhoek Valley. Basil is an interesting person. He was a prominent businessman and friend of presidents in a previous era in South Africa. In 1986, at the age of 56, he decided on a change of pace, and bought a beautifully situated farm in scenic Franschhoek where he moved with his considerably younger wife, Jane. The farm was originally given to a Hugenot (Jacques de Villiers) in 1689, and was built up from nothing. Basil's home was built in 1787, so it is properly old.

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Some tips on who to look out for next...

By Jamie Goode | 11 August 2015

Last month I was back in South Africa again, for the third time this year. Slightly excessive, I know, but there is just so much going on here that it's hard to keep up. Besides, I was here for a specific reason: to take part as a judge in the second Standard Bank Top 10 Chenin Blanc Challenge, a competition that I also judged last year.

 

I arrived in Stellenbosch at lunchtime. I was staying at the accommodation next to Ken Forester's 96 Winery Road restaurant, so after dropping my bags, I headed across to the restaurant. It was a glorious sunny winter's day, so I sat outside, had an amazing burger, a craft beer and a glass of Carsten Migliarina's excellent Shiraz. A good start to the trip. I'd just finished when the Breedekloof guys - Pieter Cronje, De Wet Lategan and Attie Loew - rocked up to show me their Chenin Blancs.  

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From Jamie Goode

Jamie Goode

Why is Cape Town such a great tourist destination? Oh, there are so many reasons. I first took my family there back in 2003, when our boys were still young. I remember that before we travelled, most of the people we spoke to were surprised: isn’t it risky to take your family on holiday there? What about the crime? This planted little seeds of doubt in my mind, so for the first day of that trip I was scared and overly cautious. But I quickly realised that the concerned friends were completely wrong. While crime certainly exists, and I’m not making light of it, I’ve been multiple times and never felt threatened any more than I would in London or Paris.

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In Jo's glass

I was recently in South Africa for Cape Wine and managed to taste several vintages of the delicious Vin de Constance from Klein Constantia. I usually opt for a sweet wine at the end of a meal instead of a pudding and The Vin de Constance is a perfect way to end a meal. It's rich and opulent with stone fruits, vanilla and a hint of spice yet it is also fresh, balanced and has a long, moreish finish. Master of Wine, Tim Atkin, highly rated both the 2011 and 2012 in his most recent report on South Africa which is available to download for £15 on timatkin.com.  

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