Mapping Terroir : Day Nine

Communication problems in Vredendal mean that Mapping Terroir : Days Seven and Eight will follow next week. Meantime, a Malmesbury Mystery when we travelled to Darling to continue the quest to map terroir. Below is Shaun McLaughlan pouring at Mount Pleasant yesterday morning.

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The 32Km from Malmesbury to Darling took us well over an hour at four pm on Friday afternoon, thanks to the four stop-and-go’s on the road. There was no sign of working life with the earth moving equipment all corralled midway. The only sign of human activity were the portaloos located every 200m along the road. Clearly, the contractors employ workers with weak stomachs.

Yet on our return journey to Malmesburg on Saturday morning at 10am, there was only one stop-and-go and the toilets had all vanished! Who removed three stop-and-go’s and all the loo’s? A Malmesbury mystery worthy of Murder She Wrote.

The Swartland tasting took place in the boadroom of the Swartland Winery whose slogan is “small berries, big taste” or more accurately “small berries, big spittoons.” Here is Anibal using one.

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The Swartland spittoons are wonderful. As they fill with expectorated wine, the musical sound they make as you wobble them, rises in tone, giving a full-on Tarzan jungle experience. All blind tastings should have them as they cheer up proceedings enormously.

Lunch at Bar Bar Black Sheep with Anton Espost, the bohemian boekhouer and landlord to the Swartland Revolution. Anton reveals he is considering making an oxidative Chenin to be called “Sawis” to submit to the august body for certification as a show of solidarity with Craig Hawkins, who is having a spot of bother getting his wines certified.