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Aug
05

Wine Joy in Japan by Leigh-Ann Luckett

After the trials of planning & executing a wine tour in China (all well worth the effort in the end, however) - planning for Japan was a dream! Detailed brochures & maps of our selected area, Yamanashi, prepared just the year before by the tourism department gave us a good steer. These were supported by many suggestions & bits of advice...
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Aug
05

Ranges of glasses matched to varieties

© Cape Times Friday 21st October 2016 Is the glass half-empty or half-full? As we all know by now, the answer is ‘Who cares? There’s clearly room for more wine whichever way you look at it.’ Is the glass nothing more than a vessel for conveying a liquid into our mouths or is it so much more than a mere vessel, instead having the ability to actually...
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Aug
05

China Winelands – Day 3 – Silver Heights by Leigh-Ann Luckett

After much debate on the best way to spend our last morning in Ningxia - to hedge bets & stay near the city, visiting Silver Height's original facility before our flight or get an early start & venture an hour toward the mountains to their new location built in 2014. We chose the latter & were well rewarded for our sense of adventure. F...
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Aug
05

China Winelands – Day 2 Zhihue Yuanshi by Leigh-Ann Luckett

As the day drew to a close, we had one final stop ahead - the first our driver was actually certain of the location of. Also, certainly the most beautiful we had visited to date. The chateau, the largest in the region, is a tribute to the owner's (who never drinks a drop of wine) love for rock & stone, showcased in a multitude of forms. From th...
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Aug
05

Looking for the best wines

© Cape Times Friday 16th September 2016 Spring has sprung and once again, springing along with it, comes competition time. A whole host of different awards have been judged and announced in the last few weeks from international commentators such as UK journalist Tim Atkin’s comprehensive and thorough SA Report to local affairs such as the RisCura W...
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Aug
05

China Winelands – Day 2 – Joyful Jing & Jia Bei Lan by Leigh-Ann Luckett

Wine fundi, Leigh-Ann Luckett, continues with her travels around the world in search of wine….  China. Named after a poem about 1 of the 8 revered landscapes of the Ming Dynasty (no, I'm not clear on the details of what that means), Helan Qingxue claims the best view of this landscape at the foot of the Helan Mountains. Established in 2005 by a vit...
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Aug
05

China Winelands – Lovely Legacy Peak by Leigh-Ann Luckett

Wine fundi, Leigh-Ann Luckett, continues with her travels around the world in search of wine….  China. Legacy Peak, our next stop, could not be more of a contrast to Changyu. Simple & understated, the only show of pomp being a row of empty wine bottles from around the world which the director prized (including a Vilafonte Series C 2008) & a...
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Aug
05

Transforming the wine industry.

© Cape Times Friday 19th August 2016 I can’t think of a more irritating phrase than “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It’s complacent, it’s lazy and it and its partner phrase “but we’ve always done it like this” are words which have no place in today’s rapidly-changing society. I was thinking about this when I attended a presentation of a decade o...
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Aug
05

China Winelands – The Chateau of Changyu by Leigh-Ann Luckett

Wine fundi, Leigh-Ann Luckett, continues with her travels around the world in search of wine….  China. Bellies full of noodles, we were ready for an 08:00 start at Changyu's Chateau Moser XIII. The Chateau was named in honour of Mr Moser XIII, the pioneer of trellising, and grandson Lenz Moser XV currently stands as chief winemaker. Moser is one of...
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Aug
05

China Winelands – A Day in the Winelands of China by Leigh-Ann Luckett

Wine fundi, Leigh-Ann Luckett, continues with her travels around the world in search of wine….  China. Arriving in Yinchuan, Ningxia with a plan to visit wineries (which we had a loose idea of the location of) but no confirmed way of actually getting to them without paying the rather ridiculous amount quoted for a driver turned out to be no problem...
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Aug
05

The China Planning Challenge by Leigh-Ann Luckett

Wine fundi, Leigh-Ann Luckett, continues with her travels around the world in search of wine…. next stop, China. The fact that wine is produced in China seemed a bit of a shock to most people outside of China. And, seemingly, most people we encountered in China, even those in one of the most concentrated wine producing regions. At time, based on th...
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Aug
05

Vino in Vietnam by Leigh-Ann Luckett

Wine fundi, Leigh-Ann Luckett, continues with her travels around the world in search of wine.... next stop, Vietnam With our wine consumption mainly limited to 6 winery visits over 2 months, with a few bottles which had made their way from South Africa in between (notably a bottle of Luddite Shiraz 2009 consumed at an altitude of 3900m in Nepal); V...
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Aug
05

My Oh My – Myanmar Makes Wine by Leigh-Ann Luckett

Wine fundi, Leigh-Ann Luckett, continues with her travels around the world in search of wine! An excellent plan, this time reporting from Myanmar. China Winelands - Day 1 Arriving in Yinchuan, Ningxia with a plan to visit wineries (which we had a loose idea of the location of) but no confirmed way of actually getting to them without paying the rath...
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Aug
05

Making a case for versatile Chenin

© Cape Times Friday 22nd July 2016 Okay, come on – ‘fess up. When was the last time you drank a Chenin Blanc?? Chances are that you’re either going to say “last night” (you hipster trendsetter you) or, more likely, “fifteen years ago at ‘varsity when I couldn’t afford anything else”.  Despite so many people’s best efforts, it seems our best asset i...
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Aug
05

India – where there’s a will, there’s wine by Leigh-Ann Luckett

Wine fundi, Leigh-Ann Luckett, has decided to take some time out and travel the world in search of wine! Excellent plan so we start with a few of her experiences in India. Better known for curry than Cabernet, India is certainly making moves to catch up with the Western wine world. Currently home to 77 wineries producing just over 17 million litres...
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Aug
05

Wine opens doors for students

© Cape Times Friday 17th June 2016 For many of us parents, the last few weeks have been particularly wine-filled as we cajole, encourage, berate and coerce our children to revise for exams. It’s been a first time for us and I have to say, we’ve felt the strain, somewhat eased by a good few swear words and a nice glass of wine at the end of the day....
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Aug
05

Cool wine from Elgin

© Cape Times Friday 20th May 2016 The older I get, the more I find myself becoming like my mother. I say the same things, my hair looks like hers and I am showing a worrying tendency to shop for comfortable clothes and shoes – flatties and elasticated waists are now order of the day. So I don’t think that the word ‘cool’ really applies to me anymor...
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Aug
05

Simply sip a Sauvignon

© Cape Times Friday 15th April 2016 I don’t think any grape variety shows the disconnect between people who drink wine and people who write about wine as much as Sauvignon Blanc. So many of the local wine-writing snifferati dismiss it as too simple, totally untrendy, utterly soul-less, commercial crap, yet the fact remains that for most restaurants...
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Aug
05

Uncorking the story behind agrafe

© Cape Times Friday 15th January 2016 When is a cork not a cork? When it’s agrafe.  This sounds like some kind of wine geek joke doesn’t it? But actually, it’s not a joke at all but an old/new way of making sparkling wine.  So, as this weekend is set to be full of romantic bubblies getting popped, I thought it would be nice to talk about a new bubb...
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Aug
05

Best of the Sommeliers

© Cape Times Friday 15th January 2016 I’m not quite sure yet what 2016 will be the Year Of (I’d like to think it would be the Year of the Falling Rand – here’s hoping) but I’m fairly certain that 2015 was the Year of the Sommelier. The official definition of a sommelier is “A restaurant employee who orders and maintains the wines sold in the restau...
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