Realising potential of Cape coast

Spice Route Chenin Blanc 2010, Western Cape
Spice Route Chenin Blanc 2010, Western Cape
Peter Beech, Jennifer Beech, Philip Talbot and Ian Withall 
enjoy a drop of ale          Picture by Malcolm Wells (171013-5428)

From light ales to stout, there was something for everyone at Portsea Island Beer Festival

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South African winemaker Charles Back is perhaps best known for Fairview Estate as well as his tongue in cheek but brilliantly conceived range of wines, Goats do Roam.

But in the late 1990s he was amongst the first to realise the potential for wine on the Cape’s west coast. He bought a farm and, with some old blocks of chenin blanc and pinotage already there, he planted a mixture of warm climate Rhone Valley and Southern French varietals as well as a little sauvignon blanc.

Spice Route Chakalaka 2009, Swartland (Hermitage Cellars £9.10), is a fascinating Rhone-style red, which takes its name from a spicy South African relish and certainly lives up to its name.

Top tipple

Spice Route Chenin Blanc 2010, Western Cape

Made from old vines, a lively palate with some spice and good weight of flavour.

Hermitage Cellars £8