Wednesday, 13 January, 2016

Wine exporters need a liquor license

If you export wine, you’re going to have to acquire a liquor license, even if you are not a liquor manufacturer.
Norman McFarlane

Wednesday, 28 October, 2015

Review: Further Than The Furthest Thing

A review of the drama in two acts, Further Than The Furthest Thing, currently showing at The Playhouse theatre in Lourensford Road, Somerset West
Emile Joubert

Tuesday, 1 October, 2013

Competitions: Are they worth it?

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the wine industry water, another wine competition rears its head, and sets about schmoozing for entries, proclaiming that it is the definitive last word in wine competitions.
Norman McFarlane

Monday, 24 September, 2012

What's happening to SA's vineyards?

The Status of Vineyards, a document issued annually by SAWIS (South African Wine Industry Information & Systems) makes very interesting reading. The most recent edition, December 2011, tells an intriguing tale of where our national vineyard is headed, which may or may not be rather sobering.
Norman McFarlane

Thursday, 23 August, 2012

The CWG Protégé Program: Transforming the Wine Industry?

When the Cape Winemakers Guild established its Protégé Program in 2006 under chairpersonship of Phillip Costandius, it had a clear intention of kick-starting transformation at winemaker level. Seven years on, as the Guild celebrates its 30th anniversary, what progress has been made?
Norman McFarlane

Monday, 6 August, 2012

Big Reasons to be at The Big Bottle Festival

Quick! What do Morpheus' space ship in the Matrix movie series and a 15 litre wine bottle have in common?
Norman McFarlane

Friday, 22 June, 2012

Landau du Val: a vinous treasure

"When Jane and I bought the farm back in 1986, we had no idea that this vineyard existed," says Basil Landau. We're standing in the centre of an ancient vineyard of Semillon, 106 years old this year, on Basil and Jane Landau's farm La Brie, just off the Robertsvlei Road in the Franschhoek Valley.
Norman McFarlane

Monday, 14 May, 2012

Food of the Farm

Do you know where the food that you eat comes from? Are you aware of how it is produced? How far is it transported before it actually gets into your kitchen and onto your dining room table or the restaurant table for that matter? Do you care? Should you care?
Norman McFarlane

Wednesday, 9 November, 2011

Orange River Cellars, shooting for the stars

Consistent improvements in wine quality marks the 10th annual Tops-at-Spar Country Cellars Wine Competition. Norman McFarlane reports on the awards function which took place early October.
Norman McFarlane

Thursday, 8 September, 2011

New CWG selection criteria have already taken hold

When in April this year, the Cape Winemakers Guild announced the new selection criteria for inclusion in its annual auction, it was fully anticipated that the effects would only probably be felt in a year or two, the protracted nature of winemaking being what it is.
Norman McFarlane

Monday, 25 July, 2011

The emerging Plettenberg Bay wine region

Norman McFarlane reports on the wine offerings and farming principles from the most eastern wine region in the Western Cape.
Norman McFarlane

Thursday, 30 September, 2010

The Cape Winemakers Guild - A Perspective

With the Cape Winemakers Guild Annual Auction a few days away - it kicks off at 9h00 at the Spier Conference Centre on Saturday, October 2 - it is perhaps appropriate to look below the surface to get a feel for what this organisation is all about.
Norman McFarlane

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Monday, 8 March, 2010

Constantia Fresh Delights

Let's face it, Jörg Pfützner knows how to organise a classy bash. The Aylesford Constantia Fresh Festival, well the part of it that I did get to attend on Saturday afternoon, was fabulous.
Norman McFarlane

Wednesday, 17 February, 2010

24 hours in Darling

The thing that strikes you most as you approach the Groote Post cellar is the lack of vineyards, and the profusion of goats, but if you look up and over the stately Cape Dutch manor house at the Darling Hills beyond, you can see the bright green of vineyards in full leaf, the neophyte berries invisible at this distance, but swelling with the promise of the new harvest.
Norman McFarlane

Friday, 23 October, 2009

The Alchemy of Blending

The intra-varietal blend is an intriguing concept, particularly in a country to some extent pre-occupied with single varietal wines.
Norman McFarlane

Monday, 22 June, 2009

American Foulbrood disease no threat to wine industry

American Foulbrood (AFB) disease has recently spread to the Western Cape for the first time, raising concerns that it may have a negative impact on the wine industry.
Norman McFarlane

Wednesday, 17 June, 2009

Of Wine, Whales and Boycotts

The gin-trap of conservation politics is intruding on the normally placid landscape of South African wine, with the militant environmental action group, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) calling for an international boycott of South African wine exports.
Norman McFarlane

Monday, 20 April, 2009

Smoke taint in wine: A new reality for the South African wine industry

Smoke taint in wine is a reality, despite a number of protestations to the contrary amongst local winemakers. Norman McFarlane investigates.
Norman McFarlane