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Traveling South African Wine


South Africa

from left to right and back to front:
Brian, Jim, Shawn, Erik, me, Amanda, Aimee, Alex, Megan

I arrived home last night from a week in South Africa with Wines of South Africa (WOSA). The trip included three writers and six sommeliers / buyers, led by the inimitable Jim Clarke. Usually my wine travels are done solo but I appreciate a group trip for my first visit to a wine region as it is a great way to get a comprehensive, well guided over view. Mixing writers and buyers can be challenging as we have quite different needs on a trip like this but it was a great group of people and Jim was a very good guide.

We tasted between 80 and a 110 wines almost every single day we were there. We were able to keep Stellenbosch as a home base, visiting a different region from there every day. That combination of being comprehensive while returning every night to the same place gives perfect balance to an otherwise demanding schedule. Along the way while there I shared tidbits on Instagram, including some of the stand out wines we tasted. As there were many more wines worth writing about I’ll be sharing other insights here over the next couple weeks. In the meantime, here’s the compilation of Instagram photos.

Thank you again to Jim Clarke and Wines of South Africa for including me! Cheers!


South African butter also very good. #stellenbosch #southafrica @wosa_usa

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Pro tip: buy the holy crap out of this wine. Rall 2016 White. #swartlandindependent #southafrica @wosa_usa

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Looking through the sweep between the southeastern hills of Swartland. #swartlandindependent #southafrica @wosa_usa

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In love with these art pieces dotted about the hotel. Wonderful energy and freshness to them. #southafrica @wosa_usa

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Iron rich silty loam soils in the Delta area of Franschoek. #franschoek #southafrica @wosa_usa

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At the estate of the Somms-Delta winery in the Delta area of Franschoek extensive work has been done to excavate and study both the archaeological and also colonial history of the area. As a result a more profound understanding of communities in the region from pre-history has been found. With the work to document colonial history those that have lived on and built the estate as slaves in different eras have also been documented with as much work as possible to find the names of each. The associated information and artifacts have been gathered into a museum on site. Today a large portion of ownership of the estate has been dispersed among the farm workers who also live on site. In the museum this monument has been made recording the names of every person who lived and is buried on the site. The intention is to recognize the deeper history of the site and who actually made it possible. Many of today’s farm worker-owners can also point to their ancestors in this monument. #franschoek #southafrica @solmsdelta2017 @wosa_usa

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And then we saw baboons… again. On the way to Cape Town… #capetown #southafrica @wosa_usa

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