WINNER OF FRANSCHHOEK LITERARY FESTIVAL WINE WRITERS’ AWARD 2015 – SHORT FORM
Wine was never on the horizon, let alone a goal when I was trying to decide what to do – no, there was never a conscious decision, it was always the stage, maybe a gene from relations on my mother’s side. I was a lousy actress, but via a circuitous route, including coming to Cape Town in 1970, I did land up involved professionally in wine in 1983 – 30 years ago. I had found what I really loved, was reasonably good at, but more importantly, people would pay me for. At first was a mix of anything that would attract people to wine through running a retailer’s wine centre and writing a monthly letter to anyone who wanted to be on the subscriber list. Two years later I was flying solo – with heartwarming support from many, notably John and Erica Platter as a taster and contributor to their wine guide – and the wings are still flapping & keeping me up there.
Locally, I write a monthly blog for Wines of South Africa’s website, as well as continue to be part of the Platter team (2013 celebrates my 28th year), then I’m happy to write for whoever, provided it doesn’t compromise my independence. Internationally, I’ve been responsible for the South African section of Oz Clarke’s Pocket Wine Guide since 1995 and have contributed to the US magazine, Wine Enthusiast since 2001. Way back when, I was the author and one of three (including my husband) involved with The South African Cellar Book.
If there are two great joys wine continue to give me, they are travel – I’ve visited most of the major wine producing countries, there’s nothing as educational and enjoyable as experiencing where wine comes from and meeting the people – and drinking wine from all over the world. It’s probably not necessary to add that I enjoy eating (and cooking) as well.
I do what I do because I enjoy wine and the people involved with it; if ever I no longer do, I shall stop.