A profile of Bruce Jack

“For me the ultimate lunch wine is slightly chilled Pinotage with a view of our brooding, judgemental mountains hanging over you. After a big surf you can’t go wrong with rich, creamy Chenin Blanc – something I’ve never been able to make very well. And with dinner, the world just opens up, but it always seems to curl back like a cat’s tail on Pinot Noir – a stealthy heartbreaker, apparently unencumbered by the rules of love everyone else in the grape kingdom must live by.

Seduction is fleeting, but the memory of a great example can last a lifetime. Its embrace is often unexpected, arriving halfway into a bottle, but the grip, when it comes, is dramatic, unyielding and can be inspiring. In most cases Pinot Noir underwhelms me, to the point now, well into my serious drinking years, where I am still brilliantly taken aback by the magic when it does appear."

What is your favourite grape variety to work with and consume?

“Favourite to work with has to be Pinotage, because it scares the living daylights out of me. I never know if I am going to get it right, or if it’s going to explode in my face. Pinotage is like a race horse, it can smell fear at 20 paces. It is the equivalent of an adrenalin rush, from the moment you step foot in the vineyard at pruning time. But when you get it really right (and that’s not very often), it is without doubt the most delicious red wine in the world to drink. The life-changing examples are so few and far between, however.”

What do you do to relax – hobbies, passions?

“I have a family (wife Penelope and two boys), so I am discovering that hobbies can actually be fun. I used to hate the idea of a hobby. I used to think you should only ever do something if there was a reason to do so. 

“Now my boys are making me build go-karts, scuba dive, fish, etc... all things that waste work time. But it’s great doing them together – that’s the biggest kick. I’ve surfed for about 37 years, which is the only time my brain is quiet, which is a blessed relief I can tell you. 

“I am passionate about books, but you knew that already. They are my comfort blankets.”

What is there left for you to do, achieve?

“Lots, but I first need to remember to buy flowers for my wife more often.”