Ex Animo Wine Co. is a wine distributor based in Cape Town. We are all about flavour, integrity, and having a good time.
Jocelyn Wilson of HOGAN WINES
Today on the podcast we have Jocelyn Wilson winemaker and owner of Hogan Wines, based in the Banhoek area of Stellenbosch.
I chatted to Jos a couple of months ago, ahead of the release of her new vintages later this month. But the conversation – and it really is a conversation rather than an interview – isn’t really about the new wines.
I really wanted to get Jossie’s story on record – she is one of the producers in South Africa that has been termed “The New Wave”. Her journey to this point is an interesting story and I wanted to explore that with her in a long format conversation.
If you are interested to dive deeper into the Hogan Wines do not despair, we spend the second half of the podcast chatting fairly comprehensively about the wines she produces. We also touch on a range of other topics as we went through.
Little caveat here – we distribute Hogan Wines in South Africa – but this just means that we love Jos, and all that she does! Proper legend she is.
Thank you for listening – and I give you Jocelyn Wilson…
James Downes, Shannon Vineyards
Today on the podcast we have James Downes, farmer, viticulturist and part owner with his brother Stuart, of Dunman Way Farm, home of Shannon Vineyards in Elgin.
In short, James is a total weapon. His knowledge of the terroir of his farm, and of Elgin in general is extremely engaging and informative. Combine this with an inquisitive mind, a sharp intellect, a thirst for learning and desire to be better at what he does tomorrow than he is today, and the result is one of the most formidable people in the wine industry in South Africa.
As you will hear, James’ natural conversational style tends to focus on ideas and questioning – this resulted in the chat touching on a wide range of subjects. You can’t help but be taken along with his enthusiasm and expertise.
Please enjoy my conversation with the informative, engaging and humble, James Downes….
Peter-Allan Finlayson, Crystallum & Gabriëlskloof
Today on the podcast we have Peter-Allan Finlayson, winemaker and co-owner of the very successful Crystallum label, and now winemaker of his father-in-law’s Gabriëlskloof wines – both based in Bot River.
I first met Peter-Allan, or as most people know him, Fin, when he was pouring his wine at the same small booth as Chris and Suzaan Alheit at Cape Wine 2012. He was the first “young gun” winemaker from South Africa that I had come across that was specialising in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Most others were using Chenin Blanc and Syrah.
One of the main purposes of this podcast is to produce a document of record, and not to talk about a single release too much, it is worth noting that this conversation took place in July 2020, almost exactly one year ago. Fin had just released his 2019 Crystallum wines, so that is the vintage we reference mostly throughout this episode.
As you will hear, Fin and I are quite good friends, so we didn’t always keep it strictly professional throughout this conversation, and there are some nice little verbal jabs at each other along the way.
I wanted to chat to Peter-Allan for a few reasons: 1) Because he makes very good wine, 2) As already mentioned, because he is one of the few of the younger generation focusing on Burgundian varieties, and 3) Because he has a different perspective than many of his contemporaries in the way he approaches the business of wine.
I give you Peter-Allan Finlayson…
David Clarke from Ex Animo Wine Co. via The Vincast
Today on the podcast, we have a bit of a change – instead of me talking to a guest, this time I was in the guest’s seat of The Vincast podcast based in Melbourne, hosted by The Intrepid Wino – a.k.a. James Scarcebrook, and is all about wine, wine culture and wine people. Each episode he chats with someone from a different field in the wine industry, to gain some insight into their experiences, philosophies, practices and personality as it relates to wine and what they do.
James had asked me on previously, but we had never managed to make our diaries match up while I had been in Melbourne on my (until now) annual trips. Very glad we finally managed to make it happen.
We talk about my journey in wine that started with a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc while working for the Victorian government in the late nighties, and we race through the next twenty plus years to how I ended up in Cape Town today.
A few listeners have been asking for an episode on my story, so I am glad to be able to oblige.
A big thank you to James for the conversation – you can find his podcast at intrepidwino.com/the-vincast/ and if you have an interest in the Australian wine scene I highly suggest you check it out.
I give you my story so far…
Duncan Savage, Savage Wines
Today on the podcast we have Duncan Savage – owner and winemaker of Savage Wines. He made his name through the first decade or so of the 2000s as the winemaker of Cape Point Vineyards.
Duncan’s production facility (originally set up by Tim Martin) is in the industrial Cape Town suburb of Salt River – I interviewed him there, in the now vacant warehouse above his winery. Note: there is an echo and some street noise, but not too much.
Duncan is one of the “good guys” of the industry, very jovial and easy going. I don’t think there are many people with anything negative to say about him, other than his wines sell out too quickly.
As you will hear, Duncan has been making wines almost 20 years, and has built one of the stronger brands of the South African “new wave” – I wanted to talk to Duncan about this journey and about his new 2019 wines about to be released.
It is a long one, as Duncan is a great story-teller and has some very well thought out insights into wine making, marketing and life in general.
Strap yourselves in, I give you Duncan Savage…
Johan Malan - Simonsig
Today on the podcast we have Johan Malan, Director of Wine at the historic Simonsig Estate in Stellenbosch. As you will hear in this episode, Johan is very easy to talk to, humble, and has a rather infections giggle. While he is justifiably proud of what Simonsig has achieved over the years, he is very far from resting on his laurels – as exhibited by The Grapesmith wines we reference.
Simonsig is one of the grand old names in Stellenbosch whose reputation was set in motion by Johan’s father, Frans. An incredibly important person in the development of Stellenbosch as a premium wine area, the Estate system, and wine tourism in South Africa.
I asked Johan on the podcast because both Cathy van Zyl MW and Michael Fridjhon on previous podcasts referenced Simonsig’s (and especially Frans’) work in setting up the Stellenbosch Wine Route, the first of its kind in South Africa, and helped pave the way for quality-minded producers that has eventually led to the fine wine revolution the country has experienced over the last 10-15 years.
While Simonsig is probably best known to most domestic wine consumers as the pioneers of traditional method sparkling wine with their wine Kaapse Vonkel, they also produce important Chenin Blanc and Pinotage wines.
I think this is one of the most important podcast episodes I have done so far. Simonsig may no longer command the column inches it once did, but it is and will forever remain one of the most important wine Estates in South Africa. Frans and Johan Malan have positively affected the reputation of Stellenbosch, helping shift the focus from the volume producers based in Paarl. Virtually every single top wine producer in South Africa today has the Malan’s of Simonsig to thank for the route to market they helped envision, create and curate from the 1970s to the 1990s.
I give you Johan Malan…