About the Author

Kim Drake

Wine Curator

“When a winemaker gets the wine right, it is pure joy, like sipping a wonderfully painted artwork from the Louvre.” These are the words of Kim Drake, Londolozi’s Procurement Manager turned part-time Sommelier. Kim’s love of wine first started developing in 2010, shortly ...

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on One Year after the Mother Leopard

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Lovely blog once again Kim. Informative. Well researched and beautiful story telling. Can’t quite remember which Nicas van der Merwe wines I have enjoyed. The sauvignon blanc sound perfect for summer.

Digital Ranger

Thanks Marinda, it is a great wine for summer, we’ll have to share a bottle sometime 😉

Kim, nice article first of all. My favorite wine varietal is SB, predominantly from New Zealand as living her in Northern California, it’s plentiful and reasonably priced. The South African wines are very limited so when in Africa, I love to sample various producers. Favorites have included: Villiera, Tokara, Dombeya, and Neil Ellis Groenekloof to name a few. I’ve traveled the Wine districts near the cape and tasted some fantastic wines, paired with delicious meals including locally sourced ingredients. Fish and SB is a natural pairing, linguini and clam sauce, various styles of chicken including my favorite, chicken picatta. I’m looking forward to tasting Nico’s wines during my visit next month. See you then!!

Digital Ranger

Thanks for the kind comments Denise. Sauvignon Blanc definitely is a firm favourite out here in the bush with our soaring temperatures! All the producers you mention produce excellent examples of Sav Blanc as well. I look forward to your stay and sharing some of Nico’s wines with you.

What a lovely blog, Kim. I’ll have my glass of wine now!

Digital Ranger

Thanks for the lovely comment Joanne, hope you enjoyed that glass!

Wondering if I can find this from my online source on the US mainland. I know I won’t find it in Hawai’i?

Digital Ranger

Hi Judy, how are you? Unfortunately this is not one you are going to find abroad just yet, the production is still rather small and exports limited if at all. You’ll have to come visit to try some 😉

This reminds me – when I visited in April I had a chenin that was amazing! We were out in the bush having a pizza night, and since it was dark I never got a good look at the label. One of the rangers dubbed it the “Lamborghini of chenins.” Was it from this vineyard, I wonder? I’d love to track it down.

Hi Chelsea,
I’ll look into it. Can you remember which ranger said that?

Thank you! I don’t remember his name, but I think he was blonde. It was the night of April 3 if that helps. Tayla may remember. She brought it down especially for me because I typically like Rieslings. 🙂

Digital Ranger

Hi Chelsea,

The ranger was Kevin Power, and the wine was the Ken Forrester FMC Chenin Blanc. Ken Forrester is known locally in the industry as the “King of Chenin” so it definitely is one of the “Lamborghinis” as Kevin would have dubbed it. A very rich style of Chenin with botrytis elements. An amazing wine!

Thank you so much! That was such a great wine and an amazing experience dining under the stars. Hi to Kevin and Ray! 🙂

Is there a subtle art to drinking beer, I know that braai meat goes with that?

Unfortuately I have not had much experience with wine, but I know that there is a place in Franshoek that does wine and pizza pairing, which sounds amazing!

Digital Ranger

Hi Callum,

Funny enough Cathy Marston, an authority in wine in SA (www.thewinecentre.co.za), and Lucy Corne, an authority on beer (www.brewmistress.co.za), hosted a few events (Grape vs Grain) a few years ago where they paired wine and beer to various courses and battled it out as to what was the best. Both beverages can be paired with various dishes, although I personally believe that wine is more versatile and there isn’t a dish which you can’t find a wine for, whether it’s a great steak on the braai, or a pepperoni pizza!

Great post as always. And please remember as I told you earlier this year, I am first in line for your job when you decide to retire.

Digital Ranger

Thanks Jeff, I’ll definitely keep your offer in mind, unfortunately I’m not quite ready yet to step down 😉

Hope some of the menu items as well as wines from this wine farm are available when we return in July. Look forward to the Mas Nicholas if it’s available.

Digital Ranger

Hi Vin Beni,

Anna is always keeping the menu fresh and new, but sure we should have some elements carrying through for your July visit, and sure there’ll be a bottle of Mas Nicholas lying around somewhere 😉

Fabulous Kim, can’t wait to try this! Sounds absolutely sublime ??

Digital Ranger

Thanks Marianna, you definitely need to try it on your next visit, it really is sublime…

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