What a difference a year makes. This time last year it was 40° in the shade (and there was not much of that) at the Franschhoek pretty-as-a-pin winery of mining mogul Gerard Holden and art identity Migo Manz. The occasion then was a braai to raise the curtain on the Mining Indaba at the Convention Centre in Cape Town. A party repeated today although this year it was raining at 2am and Big G caused a white plastic tent to be erected to protect the invited from the unseasonal elements. It was all systems go by 10am.
Local colour and music (turned up to the max) was supplied by an enthusiastic band of Kaapse Klopse who played until they fell over (above). Samoosas were local – but then Franschhoek is the stomach of SA – and the excellent Holden-Manz Rosé 2012 flowed like… water.
Vintage 2012 HM Chardonnay was bottled last week and a failure rate of 15% (punts falling out of bottles and others splitting) goes a long way to explain why bulk exports are booming. When the quality of local bottles shouts “third world” and prices are higher than in France, who can blame quality producers for preferring to ship in a 25,000 litre bag to Rotterdam and thence by barge to Strasbourg for bottling and distribution? The resulting carbon footprint is tiny, too.