A big hole just got bigger

Neil Pendock April 14, 2008 2

The sudden death of Ronnie Morris on the weekend just made a big hole – wine business reporting in SA – a lot bigger. How ironic his departure was announced the day that yet another competition – the Financial Mail’s Wine Business Awards – were unveiled. For this was Ronnie’s beat, the loneliest one in the SA wine industry. And while the WBA were reportedly conceived over a bottle of ’82 Château Mouton, Ronnie was nowhere near as ostentatious.


We got to know each other in that most intimate of situations: the cabin of a tiny Cessna battling a roaring South Easter back from the launch of Westcorp International, that winemaking behemoth on the Olifants River. Every time I saw Ronnie after that memorable trip, I’d tease him about his Spoonerism – referring to Westcorp as Southcorp, the Aussie wine giant.

But Ronnie was that kind of guy – a lovely sense of humour and no anorak in his closet. SA wine will miss his cool, dispassionate voice and I’ll miss him too.


  1. Russel Michaels April 15, 2008 at 2:18 pm -

    I’ve known Ronnie since he was a court reporter for the Cape Times, and I reporter for SABC News (Western Cape). What a lovely chap – passionate, unpretentious, witty, humourous – a journo from the old school. Often when I’m in Cape Town, we would do lunch – sometimes in St George’s Mall and it was great to see Ronnie interacting with passerbys – be it judges from the Cape Supreme Court, or fellow journos. Rest in peace, Ronnie

  2. Donald Paul April 17, 2008 at 6:15 pm -

    Well said, Neil. Ronnie was a charming and gracious man and a damn fine journalist. He is sorely missed.

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