Total Wines = Total Failure for SA

In Nevada for a week for some geo-mathematico discussions, the question on everyone’s lips when they hear I’m from SA is “whatever happened to SA wine?” As Andy Rompel, now resident in Peru after two decades in Johannesburg, commented “there is a total absence of SA wines in North and South America.  With the outstanding response at least in Peru to SA wine, there is a market.  And the wines come in relatively cheap too.” So what happened?

tw Total Wines = Total Failure for SA

Despatched to Total Wines in Reno (above) for supplies I found precisely one SA wine – a 2013 Chenin Blanc from Spier and so had to settle for a mixed case of 2010 Bordeaux peddled furiously by Jancis Robinson in the FT on the weekend.

IMG 2216 615x345 Total Wines = Total Failure for SA

The presence of Spier confirms that Dick Enthoven’s Stellenbosch vino Disneyland is perhaps the most dynamic producer in SA at the minute. His latest brainwave is a wine bar in Wale Street called the Secret Courtyard. Perhaps they would wish to keep it that way to keep out any trolling whale cottage bloggers or Muslim activists from the Bo Kaap, next door.

Anyway, its located next to Honest Chocolate in the premises in which that gifted lifestyle leprechaun Liam Mooney used to house his furniture design studio. Out back there is a wonderous courtyard, all very Marakesh debauched English aesthete – the once beautiful flotsam of life and not the tired old UCT media queens you encounter in Kenilworth.

Wine is offered at cellar door prices, which will not trouble nearby Harley Liquors who specialize in the harder stuff and even cheaper fare while tapas comes courtesy of Vanessa Marx from Dear Me! which is a coup, as last month they were trying out Leigh Trout and Kevin Mink round the corner at Birds.

First David Cope with Publik, now Spier with a hidden interior, wine bars are clearly the industry’s way of limbering up for a life without alcohol advertising. Will Cape Legends be the next to open one up?