Cape 2012

You have to hand it to Wines of South Africa. They know how to organise an event. To say Cape 2012 is just another trade show, would be a great injustice and understatement.

The UK contingent is a veritable who’s-who of the UK’s wine journalism. The likes of Matthew Jukes, Sarah Jane Evans MW, Joe Wadsack, David Williams and Jane Parkinson to name but a few, are here.

The Cape is such a beautiful place. It is nigh-on impossible to resist an invitation to visit. But more importantly, the whole thing is so well organised.

There is also a raft of events in the evening to choose from. The first night was a ‘green’ evening (Wosa CEO Su Birch decreed that Cape 2012 would be a green show with everything feasible recycled, to be reused, re-everything). Held at The Lookout, perched above Cape Town’s famous Waterfront shopping court and harbour, there were stunning views, great wines, good food, some fun performers and a friendly relaxed atmosphere to set the scene for the show.

Next night I did Accolade Wine’s ‘Kitchen Cowboys Cook Off’. We were split into teams and cooked our own dinner. Not only did we manage not to poison each other but the meal was possibly the most pleasant, most hearty food I’ve had in the evenings (I am a bit tired of foraging for bits). Overseen by Accolade ‘grandmaster winemaker’, Bruce Jack, it was always going to be relaxed and fun. He even unveiled his effort at a Pinotage ‘icon’ wine. Not many would consider paying £62 for a Pinotage but it is a good wine, full bodied with soft tannins with not a hint of bubble gum, banana or rubber. Yes, Pinotage is ‘growing up’ and getting better all the time.

Last night I went to the DGB Born in Africa Bash out of town at the Bungalow. Unfortunately, it was a filthy night with rain sheeting down. We all had to put wellies on in an effort to get audience participation. I was hoping for great singers like the buskers outside the Waterfront and some live music with African musicians. Sadly, there were 2 guys playing in front of a disco beat you could hear in almost any club or disco on the globe. As one of the ‘elder statesman’, these days the Born in Africa Bash was the wrong choice. Still, two-out-of-three is good.

So to the last day of Cape 2012. It isn’t that big but big isn’t always beautiful: think Vinexpo. Tomorrow: it is down to Walker Bay to try some of the Cape’s top, arguably world class, Pinot Noirs. Be nice to get out of town, see some countryside before heading for the airport in the evening.

It’s been good. Well done Wosa. Congrats to Su Birch and her team.