Jonathan’s interest in wine was piqued by his father at a criminally young age yet he moved to the Cape in 1993 to further a career in financial services – or so he thought.
By 2001 he qualified as a winemaker and set about flying winemaking with vintages in New Zealand and Europe, returning to the Cape to represent International Wine Services.
His lover later ran off to London so he set off in hot pursuit under the guise of doing a Master of Wine, but he neither regained her affections nor fell in love with the Institute of Masters of Wine so, once again, he returned to the Cape.
Jonathan’s heart was soon mended by red wine’s resveratrol and he now consults, writes, judges, lectures, and bathes in wine. Oh and guides.
It’s not about Cork Dork Combat, unless you really want to make it that, then we’re up for it, but we prefer more hedonistic pursuits. If you’re new to wines of the Cape, we can quickly work out your preferences at the first tasting and guide you accordingly from there.
Then we can layer that with other themes like the Grande Dames, the garagistes, the bohemian, the high-tech, the biodynamic, the ethical, architectural or those housing international art collections. But there will always be wine at hand, and beautiful vistas.
Or go geekier and take a cellar tour, gaining insight into what really goes on behind those cellar doors. Green fingered people can take an instructive walk into a vineyard on request. If you have ever wondered if your palate could be your superpower you can take a simple supertaster test – swiftly followed by some more wine.
All this is sure to wet your appetite, luckily eight out of Eat Out magazine’s top10 restaurants are either in Cape Town (2) or the Winelands (6) including a couple listed in San Pellegrino’s Top restaurants of the world. Or you can embark on a lavish (or modest) food and wine pairing journey with local or international flavours and wines (these costs for own account) to render all the senses sated.
Depending on pick up point and regions we visit you can expect to spend anything from 1-3+ hours of in-vehicle travel.
Experts around the world are now just about unanimous – the Cape is the most dynamic wine producing country in the world, it is also the most beautiful with the richest floral kingdom on the planet rooted in the most ancient soils.
Yet it’s more than the heady cocktail of fabulous food and fine wine in beautiful settings – it’s about authenticity and the other big trend, sustainability. The winelands has more land in conservation than planted to vineyard and leads the world in sustainable wine production.
Authentic experiences include tasting the wind. The summer’s notoriously blustery South-Easter wind tempers the vine’s natural exuberance as a self-regulating creeper by reducing berry and bunch size via summer foliage checked and cooled by the Atlantic wind – the result is wines of greater balance and intensity.