The African Bush has its own special magic, especially in spring. The beautiful temperatures of 29 degrees plus are a welcome relief from wet Cape winters, even though this year we’ve had more sunshine than rain.
What I most enjoy are the perfect conditions for building the best possible braais. A cool ale while tending the fire, chased with a glass of refreshing white wine, before rounding the evening off with a serious glass of red to compliment a perfectly seared cut of red meat. Life in Africa couldn’t be better.
Back to the mind-blowing bottle of wine, a 2010 Vriesenhof Chardonnay which had my wife and I squabbling over who gets the last glass. A great wine shared with your favourite people in the perfect setting….now that’s life in harmony.
I wasn’t surprised by the wine’s beautiful balance, as it was made by one of the great legends of South African wine, Jan Boland Coetzee. At the ripe old age of 70, Jan still sports the physique of a 50-year-old, honed in his heyday as a Springbok flanker. He also embodies the passion and enthusiasm required to craft a classic Chardonnay, which bubbles over when he discusses fine French wine, and Burgundy in particular.
Jan may have an imposing physique and reputation – he started out at Kanonkop in 1968 and has 48 vintages under his belt – but his soul is that of a soft natured, humble and philosophical man of nature. In an interview, Jan quotes from a reading: “Nature creates, man only guides”, before
adding: “Nature creates, man only cares; the more you care for nature, the better the wine.”
South African wine is truly richer from having this man of the land gift us with his touch.