“I started my journey in a winery in Zimbabwe, of all places!” chuckles Gregory, down the line from Cape Town’s 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa, where he’s Head Sommelier. “Zimbabwe has only two wineries, so it was highly unlikely that I’d end up in the wine industry.”
Nonetheless, he found himself working as a Cellar Assistant at Mukuyu Winery, the oldest winery in Zimbabwe, situated in Marondera, east of Harare.
His work in the cellar soon sparked a fascination with wine. “I had to ask questions to learn more about winemaking, which led to me wanting to know more” he says….
The Twankey Bar at the Taj Cape Town Hotel is fast making a name for itself as one of the city’s leading cocktail bars. And the credit goes to head bartender AJ Snetler, who spent 2017 scooping up a host of awards in South Africa and abroad.
When the self-taught mixologist from Port Elizabeth moved to Cape Town in 2015, he was soon making waves behind the city’s bar counters. From popular nightspot Drop Kick Murphy’s Snetler moved on to acclaimed cocktail emporium The Orphanage, before being spirited away to head up The Twankey Bar earlier this year.
There’s an icy breeze, whipping in off Lake Michigan, making short work of the woefully thin jacket I’ve brought along to the Windy City. Chicago is certainly living up to its nickname on this cloudy spring day, but it’s a small price to pay for the opportunity to soak up one of the most impressive city skylines on the planet.
“Chicago has always been a laboratory for architects,” explains our guide over the loudspeakers, as our river cruise makes a turn at Navy Pier and heads back into the network of canals that flow through downtown Chicago.
We sail past buildings…
Norma Ratcliffe never intended to spend her days in a South African wine cellar, crafting some of the Cape’s most celebrated red wines. Instead, the Canadian-born matriarch of Warwick wine estate outside Stellenbosch had a career in textiles in mind, until a chance holiday encounter in the Greek isles with a South African farmer brought her to South Africa in 1971.
Her late-husband Stan purchased Warwick estate in 1964, but Ratcliffe didn’t start making wine until 1974. “Stan and I had a big bond on the farm and we didn’t have any money to invest in a cellar; instead we invested…
From Australia to the UK, craft gins have become the hottest bottle behind the bar and local distillers have been quick to catch onto the trend: in the wake of the craft beer revolution, burnished copper potstills across SA are bubbling away as distillers dabble in small-batch gins.
Like wine, craft gins are increasingly showing their “terroir”, as African botanicals are blended into the traditional mix of juniper, citrus and herbs.
Perhaps the most interesting examples come from the Western Cape, where fynbos flavours loom large, with distillers using everything from buchu to kapokbos and honey…
On a family-owned farm dating back to 1790 is one of the most exciting openings of the year in the Cape winelands. Bosjes – Dutch for ‘small bushes’ – opened its doors in March 2017 in the scenic Breedekloof, a valley little more than an hour’s drive from Cape Town.
This corner of the Cape winelands is experiencing something of a renaissance, and Bosjes is a striking new addition to the region. At the heart of the estate is Die Skuur, a stylish five-bedroom guesthouse framing a private pool and entertainment area. Although rooms can be booked individually, Die Skuur is…