It was Anton Rupert who saved Tulbagh in 1969 after an earthquake destroyed the historic town in Het Land van Waveren, 90 minutes from Cape Town, when he paid for the reconstruction of historic Church Street. Now it looks like another history buff from Georgia called Charles Banks, will be an unlikely successor to Anton and place the town firmly on the international map.
Charles will sleep tonight at his Fable wine farm in the mountains between Tulbagh and Wolseley whose three wines released to date deliver on the promise of the appellation. An exotic white blend called Jackal Bird 2010 reminds of Razvan Macici’s Nederburg Ingenuity White, it is that good. There is a juicy Rhône blend called Lion’s Whisker and a stonking Syrah called Bobbejaan – or Baby Jane if you say it with an American accent. Both reds are from the fabulous 2009 vintage and were among the few barrels saved from the vintage after Chas’s Terroir Capital bought the property from a pair of distressed merchant bankers back in September 2010. All 2008 wines were thrown away.
Chas has also discovered Prima Pizzas in Tulbagh town and brought Paul Gouvea and his wood-fired oven to the Stellenboschkloof where he serves gourmet pizzas with exotic toppings to complement the wines of Mulderbosch, another property Terroir Capital owns. The old tasting room, described as looking like a shabby golf clubhouse by cult Californian winemaker Andy Erickson who makes the wines at Terroir’s properties in the Napa Valley, has been transformed into a chic and opened up relaxation area with comfy leather chairs and no fuss tables. To make it three out of three to Tulbagh, Chas just needs to persuade legendary rock drummer Ginger Baker to stop by and play some tunes.