Drink Driving


1966 was the clichéd summer of love, so it made sense for Franschhoekfranschhoekcellarwines Drink Driving
by franschhoekwines
artist, winemaker, karate sensei and all-round bon vivant Achim von Arnim, to explain that changing gears in his red deux chevaux vapeur requires serious seduction skills. While the changing gear problem may be licked by delicate finger action (talking of G-spots) the visual one had me beat as the jaunty sun visors were directly in my line of sight. But then Achim was driving so I was happy to sit like a giraffe browsing the Franschhoek foliage that swept past. Our destination was the Berg River Dam. Whatever happened to its original name Skuifraamdam?

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In the Hoek with Sunday Times motoring journalist speedy Tom Falkiner, Achim and I had seized a sightseeing gap to visit the dam while Tom was photographed low flying up the Franschhoek Pass in a Bentley muscle car. We were doing a story on cars and wine for the Christmas edition of the paper and when Johann Rupert was unavailable due to global financial meltdowns and stuff, Achim and his vintage Citroën seemed vastly more appropriate. We did pitstop at Johann’s Motor Museum on his L’Ormarins estate but by then the 2CV had stolen my petrolheart. And it’s curious to note that Achim’s 2CV is kept on the road by Johann’s jet pilot who is something of a 2CV nut himself.

Talking of synchronicity – after we returned to the farm, Achim reached into his chinos and smacked down his wallet on the Cabrière restaurant table. “I’ve also got a Bentley” he boomed. And sure enough, the worn leather was embossed with a curly B. Although I bet it was the Veuve Clicquot yellow interior that tickled the baron’s fancy as he has something of a reputation for bubbly himself.

Not that Achim needed his wallet, you understand, as the Sunday Times is not your usual grasping wine publication with the R666 bill for the editor’s account. Although Achim did chuck in the wine: several bottles of bubbly (to give son Takuan sabrage practice), a wonderfully fruity 2008 Chardonnay/Pinot Noir white (a big step up from 2007) and a magnum of Pinot Noir 2003 with a terrific ectoplasm label painted by A+A+A: Arabella Caccia, Achim and Allan Mullins, Woolworth’s wine consultant who paints with a paintbrush tied to a long piece of bamboo, like Matisse.

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