Tommy Hall is not a man who leaves things to chance. As Director of Global Operations for a Fortune 500 technology company, Hall is all about meticulous planning, managing risk and being prepared for the unexpected. And yet, fate must have played a hand in bringing Hall and his family to the beautiful Franschhoek valley.

For just as Tommy, his wife Crystal and his son Gavin were seeking to carve out a life on the continent with which they feel a deep kinship, a chance encounter led Hall to the gates of an historic Cape farm. It was a place offering both a new adventure and the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of a Cape farming community.

Star Wine List of the Year celebrated the great wine lists in South Africa. The Grand Prix and two more Gold Stars was won by Culture Wine Bar in Cape Town. “Impressive to see the continuous development across the board, despite all struggles of the previous years. Many wine lists had an even clearer structure, focus, and good balance of local and international wines. As a sommelier I was particularly excited by the large amount of mature vintages on offer. Cheers to the South African sommelier community!” says Jury member Marc Almert, ASI Best Sommelier of the World 2019.

The latest release of Delheim Estate's icon Grand Reserve underscores the fact that 2020 is set to be one of the best red wine vintages the Cape has experienced in recent memory. Delheim Grand Reserve, the red Bordeaux-style blend from this renowned estate in Stellenbosch's Simonsberg appellation, has - since its maiden 1981 vintage - garnered a reputation as one of South Africa's foremost red wines with the Grand Reserve 2020 one of the best renditions of this wine in its illustrious history.

13 July once again marks a momentous occasion for South African heritage, and in particular, wine, as it celebrates the 338th birthday of Groot Constantia, South Africa's oldest wine-producing farm ­that has an uninterrupted record of producing legendary wine since 1685. Groot Constantia was founded on 13 July 1685 by Simon van der Stel, the then Governor of the Cape, at a time when the famous wine production area in Bordeaux, the Medoc, was yet to be developed, and the Cabernet Sauvignon wine varietal did not yet exist. Today, the Estate is one of South Africa's most iconic wine farms and is no stranger to accolades, awards and international acclaim.

CHARDONNAY RÉSERVE 2021

A pioneering Franschhoek wine estate, Haute Cabrière is renowned for its Cap Classique range and wines made from Burgundian grape varieties. Recently announced, the estate has extended its Chardonnay offering with the introduction of the Haute Cabrière Chardonnay Réserve with the maiden 2021 vintage. This is an exciting addition to the Haute Cabrière Range and the winery’s reserve wine collection which already hosts the Pinot Noir Réserve and Arnim Family Réserve (a Pinot Noir and Syrah blend).

Ever noticed how many wines in South Africa have “Chateau” as part of their name? Only one: Chateau Libertas. 

In 1935, the country signed an agreement with the French* that prevented the use of the term by any local producer from that point on. Why the exception for Chateau Libertas? It was established in 1932, before the deal was inked, so it escaped the prohibition.

Summer is here! And while we pack away our winter clothes and our electric blankets, it's also time to rethink our weekly meals and what to make to replace those hearty dishes, such as oxtails, stews and curries, that are so satisfying and comforting in the colder months.   Summer also means spending as much time outdoors as possible, and who wants to slave in the kitchen for hours while friends and family are outside splashing around in the pool or enjoying sundowners.

If you’ve read my “about me section”, you now know that I only started experiencing wine at the ripe age of 21-ish and I can think of many reason why I didn’t do so earlier, but that one that totally stands out, would be the...