Swartland coup at the UCT Top 20 Wineries poll

Pressing questions (press shown below) are being raised as to how the Swartland came to dominate yesterday’s UCT Top 20 SA wineries poll.  First placed Boekenhoutskloof mackintosh-hillhouse-chair Marc Kent, second placed baby Jesus of SA wine Eben Sadie and charming Chris and beautiful Andrea Mullineux in tenth position are all leading lights in the annual Swartland Revolution.  An event that poll organizer Tim James is involved with.

Not that any impropriety is implied.  After all, that Marc was first past the post is to be expected, as Boekenhoutskloof is Winery of the Year in the 2012 Platter sighted wine guide.  But even with ten 2011 Platter pundits voting plus editor Phil, the 2011 Platter Winery of the Year, Nederburg, could not make the Top 20.  A fantastic result and quite frankly, unbelievable as Nederburg had three five star stunners in 2012 and a record breaking five in 2011. Nederburg cellarmaster and TV star Razvan Macici must be wondering what you have to do to get into the Top 20! Surely the last shred of credibility at Platter has been lost by this result.  Or is the poll perhaps a fix?

press 300x163 Swartland coup at the UCT Top 20 Wineries poll

The Vaslin Burcher (sic) press at Boekenhoutskloof

The only black in the 29-strong  electorate seems to have been the gorgeous Swedish Scot “Hansi Blackadder” who is presumably Joakim Hansi Blackadder, the only judge without a first name, who was last year proclaimed sommelier of the year at – you guessed it – the Swartland Revolution!  Cape Town dominates domiciliums while soutpiele outnumber rockspiders by better than ten to one.  Funny that, as in the industry, its the other way round.  Writers who actually know something about wine, like Ntsiki Biyela, Dave Hughes, Winnie Bowman, Marilyn Cooper, Emile Joubert, Bruce Jack, Harry Haddon, Dave Swingler, Dave Biggs, Miguel Chan, Jörg Pfützner, David Cope and Erica Platter – to choose a Baker’s dozen at random – are conspicuous by their absence.

Is the Mail & Guardian aware of the problems with a poll that appeared in their organ?  Editor Nic Dawes caused a minor stir with his opinions about dining out in Johannesburg last year.  What does he think about how wine is run down in Cape Town?

A lighter note has been injected into proceedings by a passing pedant from Portugal who pointed out that the totally excellent website of Boekenhoutskloof (so good, it could have been designed by Fanakalo) talks of a “vaslin Burcher” press in the winery.  Surely  ‘Vaslin Bucher’ as my interlocutor continued, the mistake is “small but important methinks… especially as they are Number 1… the press is very famous… and it is made to sound like a risqué punishment device in an English boy’s public school.”

I personally thought media savvy Marc was making a play for those hairy sandals who eat Bircher Müsli.  If Boekenhoutskloof made rum, then Winston Churchill’s summation of the Royal Navy as “sodomy, rum and the lash” would apply – vaseline and birching being two other variants of pressing.