25 years experience in the wine industry
My interest in wine is probably due to my family in England having been wine merchants since 1842 – the grape never falling far from the vine. Tanner’s Wines of Shrewbury have developed into one of Britains great regional wine merchants, achieving national renown for its superb range of wines and standard setting service. Tanner’s remains family owned, family run and totally independant. Visit Tanner’s Wines here.
After moving from Durban to Franschhoek in 1981 I was immediately impressed by the vineyards, the manor houses, the magnificent scenery and of course the ever present wine activities. In 1982 and 1983 I completed wine courses with the KWV, in those days in parallel with the Cape Wine Academy, and began working at a wine estate cellar selling wines of the valley. From there I worked for two other estates with a focus on international trade.
This brought me in contact with the international wine markets and led to an invitation to judge at the annual International Wine Challenge in London. This in turn led to visits to other wine producing countries such as France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and later the USA and Slovenia. I have also exhibited South African wines in the UK and the USA where I once represented South Africa at an international wine seminar in Washington DC. I have spent time in other wine countries including Argentina, Chile, Australia and New Zealand.
I am a past member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs and the Ordre Mondial des Gourmet Deguststeurs (Vice Echanson) of the same organization, responsible for arranging wine and spirit orientated events for members and arranging and adjudicating their annual JeunesSomilliers competition.
I am a wine tour guide and I write a wine column in the Franschhoek Tatler.
It is always a privilege to share my world of wine with others, all tours are conducted by myself.